The Turkish Army said Friday it will keep a military presence in Syria despite officially ending its offensive in the country’s north.
The Turkish Army forces and allied rebels in Syria also captured the town of al-Bab on February 23 after a deal with ISIS to withdraw, in an operation that killed at least 444 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Turkey, however, denied the killing of civilians in al-Bab.
After taking al-Bab, Turkey-backed Islamist rebels started to attack Manbij. However, in early March, the US-led coalition sent more armored vehicles to the north of Manbij city near the Sajur river in order to deter hostile acts between the the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkey. Also, a Russian aid convoy arrived to western Manbij for the same goal.
Turkey fears the Syrian Kurds carving out a self-governing territory analogous to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, a move that might embolden Turkey’s own large Kurdish minority to try to forge a similar territory inside its borders.
In the meantime, the Turkish authorities continued to build walls and enter the Syrian Kurdish border areas for months. Moreover, there have been constant bombardments of Kurdish positions near Afrin, Til Rifaat, Kobane and Tel Abyad, where dozens have been killed, mostly civilians.
The Turkish government is building concrete walls under the pretext of stopping illegal crossings along the 900-kilometer borderline with Syria. However, Kurdish officials say the wall is built to embargo the Kurdish-held territories in Syria.
Source: ARA News & Agencies
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