US President Donald Trump made a decision to arm YPG fighters, despite Turkey's objections and a direct appeal from Erdogan at a White House meeting last May. "But whatever happens there the most important process will be after the conclusion of such an offensive", Dr. Kerim Has, lecturer at Moscow State University, told Xinhua. Turkish troops are stationed in rebel-held territory on both sides of Afrin.
Meanwhile, to Turkey's south, the army continued to reinforce troops and tanks in the Hatay Province on the border with Syria, as Erdogan promised an imminent invasion of the Kurdish-ruled region there.
Ankara sees se militias as a mere subsidiary of Kurdish guerrillas of Turkey, Kurdistan Workers ' Party (PKK).
We review the key developments in Syria, including the Turkish president saying a military operation in Afrin will start within days, the USA -led coalition working on building a border force and government troops pushing toward an Ildib airbase from Aleppo. Erdogan said today that Turkish Army units had fired dozens of shells toward Kurdish positions in and around Afrin the previous day.
Erdogan has repeatedly accused the YPG of attempting to link Afrin with a large Kurdish-controlled area to the east.
According to the Washington Post, during a speech in Ankara, Ergodan slammed the US for its continued military support for Kurdish separatist groups in Syria tagged as terrorist organisations by Turkey. Ankara has also been angered by the trial and conviction of a Turkish banker in the USA on sanctions violation charges, and Washington's non-action on its request to extradite a Pennsylvania-based Turkish preacher Erdogan accuses of instigating a failed 2016 coup. Assad's ally Russian Federation called the plans a plot to dismember Syria and place part of it under USA control.But the strongest denunciation came from Erdogan, who has presided as relations between the United States and its biggest Muslim ally within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have stretched to the breaking point."A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders", Erdogan said of the United States in a speech in Ankara. "We expect (the US) to support Turkey in its legitimate efforts" to combat terror, Erdogan said.
"We will not stay still against a bunch of idiots over there (YPG)". There is no doubt that in the first threat they will target their weapons against the USA military, "the Turkish leader warned".
Ibrahim Kalin said that, instead of ending support for the YPG, as Ankara has requested, "the US is taking worrying steps to legitimise this organisation and make it lasting in the region".
"It's absolutely not possible to accept this", he said, stressing that Turkey would defend itself.
"A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders".
The PKK has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 40,000 security forces and civilians - including more than 1,200 since July 2015.
The U.S. -led coalition has said it has already recruited 230 new cadets for the new security force established to help secure areas recently liberated from Islamic State (ISIS) militants. "America now admits that it is creating a terrorist army to Along our border".