Report: Turkey sends troops to northern Syria

'Tanks and other heavy weapons' reportedly seen moving from Turkey into Kurdish area of Syria, following announcement of US pullout.

Tal Polon ,

Turkish President Erdogan
Turkish President Erdogan

Turkey on Saturday sent military reinforcements to northern Syria as it threatens a military offensive against Kurdish forces stationed there, AFP reported.

Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP that “Around 35 tanks and other heavy weapons, carried aboard tank carriers, crossed the Jarablos border crossing in the early evening.”

“They headed for an area near the Sajour River, between Jarablos and Manbij, not far from the front lines where Kurdish fighters of the Manbij Military Council are stationed,” he added.

The move comes after US President Donald Trump declared last week that he was ordering the withdrawal of the roughly 2,000 US troops stationed in Syria. The US has for years supported the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG, in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

Turkish President Erdogan considers the YPG to be an offshoot of the PKK, a Kurdish movement in Turkey and Iraq which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish government for greater autonomy since 1984.