The sources were quoted by the Arabic desk of Sputnik as saying that Turkey has a plan to form a new 10,000-member army from the Ankara-backed FSA militants to use them in battles against the Kurdish forces in a vast region staring from Jarabulus in Northern Aleppo to Idlib.
The sources added that the FSA militants are due to go under a 3-month training course and a further 45-day training by the Turkish Special Forces.
Sputnik went on to say that the FSA members that are to go under training will receive $300 as their monthly salary, while the Turkish side will also provide the FSA fighters with food and housing.
The sources told Sputnik that the operations in the towns of Afrin, Manbij and Tal Abyadh is the main objective of this new army.
Meantime, the people in al-Bab city in the Northern parts of Aleppo rallied to protest at the Turkish army and its allies’ deployment in the region.
Local sources in al-Bab reported on Monday that people held protest rallies in Sheikh Aqil district of al-Bab which was occupied by the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militants.
They added that tens of people in the region carried placards to protest at Ankara and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policies.
They also chanted slogans including “Erdogan listen! We don’t obey your cruel army. This place belongs to us”.
The rally was held after Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said the country was considering establishing a base near the Syrian city of al-Bab.
Kaynak said location of the base currently being considered by the Turkish General Staff was Aqil Hill, West of al-Bab.
The Turkish military established a temporary base at the strategic site after capturing it in February and was considering turning it into something more permanent since.
Speaking after a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kaynak added that Turkish military presence in the area was reduced from 8,000 at the peak of the Operation Euphrates Shield to 1,500.
Turkey sent its military into Syria in August last year to prop up local militias allied with Ankara against ISIL and Kurdish forces. The confrontation with Syrian Kurd militias, which Turkey considers an off-shoot of the Turkish-based militant movement Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), put Ankara at odds with the US.
The next link indicate the level of US support for the Kurds who will likely be fighting this new Turkish force in a few months.
Over 100 trucks loaded with US arms, ammo arrive in Syria’s Rojava – Turkish media
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region— A new batch of US arms and ammunition has arrived in the Kurdish controlled city of Hasaka, second such shipment in two months, Turkish media reported Tuesday.
The shipment, loaded on trucks and military vehicles, consisted of anti tank weapons, MK19, M4 Cabrine, M16 and Humwees and crossed the Semelka border into Syria from the Kurdistan Region on two separate occasions, May 15 and May 20, the media reports said. The US-led coaltion and the SDF haven’t yet announced the delivery.
According to multiple Turkish media outlets, the shipments were delivered to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group which also includes the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
US President Donald Trump has approved a plan to arm the Syrian Kurdish fighters — an important U.S. ally in Syria in the fight against ISIS.
The Pentagon has said the move is significant because it supports the notion that the SDF is the fighting force that will eventually go in to Raqqa city in Syria’s center which has been under ISIS control since 2014.
The move reinforces the idea that the entire Syrian Democratic Force, Syrian Kurds (YPG) and the Syrian Arab Coalition, has the backing of the U.S.
“The (Syrian Democratic Force), partnered with enabling support from U.S. and coalition forces, are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement on May 8 after signing the deal to arm the SDF.
No final dates have been set for the Raqqa offensive yet.
Turkey, a key US ally, sees YPG as a “terrorist” organisation and has vehemently opposed Washington’s intentions to include the Kurdish group in the operation. Ankara has instead proposed using the formation of Syrian rebel factions under the umbrella of its Euphrates Shield operation to launch the offensive.
Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
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