- Title: Turkish army makes final preparations for Syria offensive
- Date: 9th October 2019
- Summary: AKCAKALE, TURKEY (OCTOBER 9, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TURKISH SOLDIERS STANDING BY ARTILLERY WITH GUN BARRELS POINTED TOWARDS SYRIA VARIOUS OF BULLDOZERS DIGGING FORTIFICATIONS TURKISH SOLDIERS PREPARING ARTILLERY
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2019 10:10
- Keywords: Turkey Syria operation Syrian Kurdish militia Free Syrian Army FSA fighters
- Location: AKCAKALE, TURKEY
- City: AKCAKALE, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0DLI6F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Turkish soldiers made final preparations in the border town of Akcakale on Wednesday (October 9) as Ankara geared up to launch a military strike in northern Syria following a surprise U.S. troop pullback.
Soldiers were seen preparing artillery deployed behind earth embankments and pointed towards Syria as bulldozers dug fortifications.
Turkish officials said the incursion into northeast Syria has not begun, but final preparations are being made and the deployment of troops and equipment has been completed.
Turkey has been poised to advance into northeast Syria since the U.S. troops began vacating the area in an abrupt policy shift by U.S. President Donald Trump widely criticized in Washington as a betrayal of America's Kurdish militia allies.
Ankara has said it intends to create a "safe zone" in order to return millions of refugees to Syrian soil, but the scheme has alarmed some Western allies as much as the risks posed by the military operation itself.
Turkey's Demiroren news agency (DHA) said Syrian rebels travelled from northwest Syria to Turkey in preparation for the incursion in Syria's northeast.
They will be based in the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar, it said, across the border from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, with 14,000 of them gradually joining the offensive.
(Production: Yesim Dikmen, Bulent Usta)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None