Turkey sees 'positive' signals from US on northern Syria

Turkey sees 'positive' signals from US on northern Syria

Video obtained by Anadolu Agency showed the terrorists in the city - right across the border from Suruç, in the southeastern Turkish province of Şanlıurfa - dug trenches and tunnels, presumably to hinder Turkish armored vehicles from crossing the border for an operation east of the Euphrates River.

Erdogan said US President Donald Trump had given a positive response to Ankara's plans for the operation in the area and that Turkey would do "what is necessary" regarding what he described as terror corridors east of the Euphrates.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a rally in Konya, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018.

The spike in attacks follows Turkish threats to expand its offensive against US -backed Syrian Kurdish forces, moving from the areas it now controls in northwestern Syria to the east, where U.S troops are also based.

Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist organisation tied to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an outlawed group that has waged a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey. American troops are also located to the east of the Euphrates River.

The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.

"Along the 500 kilometer-border (310 miles), we may begin military operations at any moment without bringing harm to U.S. troops". But he added the U.S. "must fulfill promises" without giving further details.

The U.S-led coalition against the Islamic State group backs the Syrian Kurdish fighters who have gained control of almost 30 percent of Syrian territory, mostly in eastern Syria, after chasing out IS militants from the area.

The success of Turkey's possible military operation on the eastern shore of the Euphrates river in Syria will depend on coordination with the U.S., which can change position at any time, Ozturk Yilmaz, the deputy chairman of the Turkish opposition party said.

Turkey has taken part in two major operations in northern Syria since the start Kurdish forces took control of border areas. The second wrapped up in March 2018 after Ankara-backed rebels captured the YPG-held enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria.

"The [Syrian] regime has created a suitable environment for terrorist groups ... to the detriment of the Syrian people", the NLF said in a statement.

The National Liberation Front (NLF), made up of opposition groups in Syria's northwestern city of Idlib, said on Monday it would support the Turkish military operation.

Syria's seven-year war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions since starting in 2011 after the government's brutal repression of anti-government protests.

On Sunday, the USA warned opposition groups linked to the Free Syrian Army against supporting anticipated Turkish operation east of the Euphrates River.

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