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Erdogan Vows to Clear Turkey-Syria Border of Kurds

Erdogan Vows to Clear Turkey-Syria Border of Kurds

Monday, 18 December, 2017 - 08:45
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Reuters file photo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to clear what he called "terrorists" from the towns of Afrin, Manbij, Tal Abyad, Ras al-Ain and Qamishli in northern Syria.

Speaking during a Justice and Development Party (AKP) local meeting on Sunday in Karaman, south of Turkey, Erdogan stressed "the drama" in Raqqa proved without any doubt that ISIS and the People's Protection Units (YPG) are two sides of the same coin. He added that orders for one party to leave and the other to control the area where issued from the same side.

Media reports said that the Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the international coalition, allowed ISIS militants besieged in Raqqa to withdraw under a similar agreement that occurred between “Hezbollah” and the terrorist organization on Lebanon-Syria border.

Erdogan warned that there are attempts to create enmity between the peoples of the region, even within the same city, stressing that ISIS, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Turkey and Syria are part of that.

Erdogan also stated that the United States supplied PYD with more than 4,000 trucks loaded with arms and equipment, including heavy weapons.

In other news, local sources in Syria confirmed that Iran began using the land route between Tehran and the Mediterranean Sea through Iraq and Syria.

According to Anadolu Agency, a convoy composed of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), entered Syrian territory through the city of Albu Kamal and headed towards Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria.

With that, Tehran would have already began using the Tehran-Damascus line for military purposes and ensured its military presence in Syria.

In addition, Syrian regime forces and PMF controlled areas located on both sides of the border between the two countries.

Earlier in November, Syrian regime gained control of the city of Albu Kamal, ISIS’ last stronghold in Syria, while members of Iraqi PMF took over the other side of the border between Iraq and Syria.

A spokesman for the Revolutionary Commando Army, an opposition Syrian faction operating in eastern Syria, stated that the faction was ready to work with the United Nations to secure any aid convoy.

"Humanitarian aid is welcome to cross within the 55 km zone, an area protected by al-Tanf camp," tweeted the official.

In southern Syria, "Furat Post"correspondent reported that "al-Omari Brigades" arrested six militants in the western town of al-Milyha and al-Shiyaha town in al-Lujat area of Daraa western countryside. The leader of the group was also arrested after raiding their outposts. The militants will be handed over to the authorities for investigation.

The journalist also pointed out that the group admitted to coordinating with regime forces, in addition to “Hezbollah.” It also admitted to carrying out a number of assassinations in liberated areas, in addition to planting IEDs and targeting Free Army fighters and leaders, including Saqr al-Mashwar, commander of al-Omari Brigades, in bombing attacks.

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