Amid statements from Ankara about a possible cross-border operation into areas in northern Syria controlled by Kurdish forces, the Sputnik news agency on Monday reported that the US had 60 trucks of heavy weapons and armored vehicles to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
According to the report, the US sent heavy weapons and armored vehicles to the SDF, which also includes the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), as part of Raqqa operations.
One SDF member said the US also sent small Toyota trucks for fighter reinforcement and continues to send to SDF heavy weapons and armored vehicles.
“The US sent us armored Hummers and heavy weapons due to the Raqqa operation. Among the weapons are rockets, machine guns, binoculars and howitzers. The weapons and armored Hummers were brought to Rojava from the Kurdistan region (northern Iraq) on a land route through the Semelka border gate. They were taken to nearby Raqqa by truck. The weapons and armored vehicles arrived in 60 trucks. The US has been regularly sending us heavy weapons and armored vehicles,” said the SDF member.
Despite objections from Ankara, the US since May 15 has sent 468 trucks of military suppies to Syrian Kurdish YPG militants, considered to be a terrorist organization by Turkey due to its links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The Turkish armed forces last month retaliated with artillery fire overnight and destroyed YPG targets after Kurdish militia opened fire on Turkish-backed forces in northern Syria, the Turkish military said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Ankara was ready to undertake a new military operation in northern Syria similar to Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched in August of last year.
Speaking to the Russian Izvestia newspaper, Erdoğan said Turkey’s borders are under threat by Syrian Kurdish militia and that Turkey would not allow the establishment of any Kurdish state in Syria.
Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak also said the Afrin region of Syria should be cleared of terrorists, saying it is necessary for the security of Azaz, Mare, Al Bab and Idlib.
“The problem in the region is Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party [PYD] and PKK control over Afrin and the establishment of a Russian base there,” Kaynak told the media in Kahramanmaraş.