Turkish Defense Ministry announced preparations for an operation have been finalized despite threats from Donald Trump
Turkey says ready to attack Syria after US troops leave
Turkey said on Tuesday it had finalized preparations for a military operation in northeastern Syria now that the United States had begun withdrawing troops from the region, paving the way for a Turkish attack on forces led by Allied Kurds. from the USA.
But President Donald Trump has warned that it will "annihilate" Turkey's economy, which is a US ally in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), if it acts in Syria in a way it considers "beyond the limits" after the ruling. to withdraw troops from the border region's special forces.
The move will leave Kurdish-led partner forces vulnerable to a raid by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which labels them as terrorists because of their ties to Kurdish militants responsible for an old insurgency in Turkey.
"The TSK will never tolerate the establishment of a terror corridor at our borders. All preparations for the operation have been finalized," the Turkish Ministry of Defense said on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
"It is essential to establish a safe zone / peace corridor to contribute to the peace and stability of our region and to the Syrians to achieve a safe life."
A Reuters witness said on Tuesday there was no sign of military activity near the Turkish border town of Akçakale, which faces Syria's Tel Abyad. Mortar launchers were positioned on the Turkish side of the border pointing to Syria.
US forces were withdrawn from two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain on Monday, a US official said.
Trump's warning against the Turkish economy appeared to be aimed at placating critics who accused him of abandoning the Syrian Kurds by withdrawing their forces. The move prompted criticism from Democrats and a reprimand from some of the president's fellow Republicans in Congress, including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
"As I stated emphatically before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and incomparable wisdom, consider beyond the limits, will totally destroy and annihilate Turkey's economy (I've done it before!)," tweeted Trump.
Kurdish-led forces, which have been America's most skillful counterparts in fighting the Islamic State in Syria, have repudiated the major US policy shift, which they saw as a "backstab".
The United States expects Turkey to be held responsible for captive Islamic State fighters in northeastern Syria if Ankara's planned raid into areas where the detained militants are, a State Department official said.
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