(Photo Credit: Reuters)
On 30 November, the Turkish military reportedly moved reinforcements to the Syrian border as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened a ground invasion to expand Turkish control of areas under the current control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The Daily Sabah newspaper published images and footage of Turkish military trucks and tanks traveling to “point zero” on the Syrian border.
According to the newspaper, Turkish forces started delivering further military supplies to northern Syria, particularly the area around Tal Rifaat in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
The SDF commander, Mazloum Abdi, stated that the city of Kobani in the eastern countryside of Aleppo would be the most likely target for the Turkish ground assault, according to Middle East Monitor.
In a press statement, Abdi said he was disappointed by Russia’s and the United States’s “weak response” to dozens of Turkish airstrikes on areas under the SDF’s control this week, killing eleven people.
Abdi also stated that the SDF takes Ankara’s threats seriously and that unless there is a concerted effort to deter Turkiye, particularly by the US and Russia, Turkiye will carry out its ground attack.
Meanwhile, following Turkish assurances that a military operation against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria could be launched soon, pro-Turkish Syrian opposition factions continued their preparations, according to Al-Awsat news.
According to a leader of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces, representatives of the Syrian National Army (SNA) met with Turkish army officers on 29 November in Jarablus, near the Syrian-Turkish border, to develop military strategies for an upcoming ground operation against Kurdish-led militias.
However, although a ground operation has been on the table for over a week, Ankara has yet to follow through with its threats due to international pressure from Russia, Iran, and the United States.
Negotiations between Turkiye and Russia are ongoing, with Russia trying to meet Turkish demands for a complete withdrawal of the SDF from Manbij, Kobani, and Tal Rifaat, reports Al-Jazeera. The Kurdish militias would have to be replaced by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Since the start of operation “Claw-Sword” on 19 November, Turkiye has reportedly struck hundreds of locations, facilities, and military command centers used by Kurdish defense units.