- Title: Activity seen in Syria's Tel Abyad as Turkey gears up for military strike
- Date: 8th October 2019
- Summary: TEL ABYAD, SYRIA (AS FILMED FROM AKCAKALE, TURKEY) (OCTOBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING NEAR A GAS STATION VARIOUS OF HOUSES SEEN BEHIND FENCES VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CARRYING SYRIAN-KURDISH YPG FLAGS MARCHING VIEW OF THE TOWN AKCAKALE, TURKEY (OCTOBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS) FLAG FLYING AT AKCAKALE BORDER GATE ARMOURED MILITARY VEHICLE ON BORDER TRUCK DRIVING PAST VIEW OF BORDER GATE TURKISH FLAGS AND PICTURE OF ATATURK, FOUNDER OF MODERN TURKEY, PAINTED ON BORDER WALL
- Embargoed: 22nd October 2019 15:52
- Keywords: Turkey Syria US military operation Syrian Kurdish militia YPG Free Syrian army
- Location: AKCAKALE, TURKEY / TEL ABYAD, SYRIA (AS FILMED FROM AKCAKALE, TURKEY)
- City: AKCAKALE, TURKEY / TEL ABYAD, SYRIA (AS FILMED FROM AKCAKALE, TURKEY)
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA001B08MQMF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:People carrying pro-Kurdish YPG flags were seen marching in the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad on Tuesday (October 8) as Turkey finalised preparations for a military push into northeast Syria, after the United States began pulling back troops from the Turkey-Syria frontier area in a move widely criticised in Washington as a betrayal of America's allies.
The U.S. move will leave Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington vulnerable to attack by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which brands them terrorists because of their links to Kurdish militants who have waged a long insurgency in Turkey.
President Donald Trump meanwhile denied the Kurds had been abandoned by the U.S. pullback, praising Turkey as a trade partner and NATO ally in a softening of his tone hours after threatening Ankara's economy if it acted "off limits" in Syria.
Signalling a further potential shift in the region's power balance, the Kurdish-led forces said they might start talks with Damascus and Russia to fill a security vacuum in the event of a full U.S. withdrawal from the Turkish border area.
A Reuters witness saw no sign of military activity near the Turkish border town of Akcakale, across from Syria's Tel Abyad. Howitzers were placed behind earth embankments on Turkey's side of the border, pointed towards Syria.
Some 60 km (40 miles) to the west, multiple launch rocket systems mounted on two trucks were deployed behind earth embankments near Suruc, opposite the Syrian border town of Kobani. Artillery was also stationed in the area, and soldiers wandered around a nearby military camp.
U.S. forces evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain on Monday (October 7), a U.S. official said.
(Production: Mert Ozkan)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None