The Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist organization, the YPG, has deployed US-made anti-tank TOW missiles in northern Syria’s Manbij at a time when Turkey has pointed to a possible military operation to clear the area of terrorism.
According to the photos and videos obtained by Anadolu Agency (AA), terrorists were seen scouting the area toward Jarablus, which is controlled by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Syrian National Army (SNA).
Among some Russian- and US-made weapons, one of the YPG terrorists was spotted with the TOW missile, known as the most effective weapon against armored vehicles.
TOW, a US-made anti-tank missile, can be effective against armored vehicles on land in harsh environments or conditions.
The United States has for years been equipping the terrorist organization in Syria – an area of discord between Ankara and Washington.
The US primarily partnered with the YPG in northeastern Syria in its fight against the Daesh terrorist group. On the other hand, Turkey strongly opposed the YPG’s presence in northern Syria. Ankara has long objected to the US’ support for the YPG, a group that poses a threat to Turkey and that terrorizes local people, destroying their homes and forcing them to flee.
Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the US has provided military training and given truckloads of military support to the YPG, despite its NATO ally’s security concerns. Underlining that one cannot support one terrorist group to defeat another, Turkey conducted its own counterterrorism operations, over the course of which it has managed to remove a significant number of terrorists from the region.
Turkey, which has mounted four operations in northern Syria since 2016, has vowed a new operation against YPG terrorists that control swathes of territory near the Turkish border. Among the potential targets are Manbij and Tal Rifaat.
While Turkey views the YPG forces in Syria as terrorists and a national security threat, the United States views the group as an ally that has helped drive Daesh from vast areas of Syria.
The YPG, which occupied approximately one-third of Syria’s territory with support from the US, often targets Azaz, Marea, al-Bab, Jarablus, Afrin, Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain in northern Syria with heavy weapons.
The terrorists often target Turkish forces who provide security in the Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch and Peace Spring areas and try to infiltrate the positions of Syrian opposition fighters from regions that the terrorist group was supposed to withdraw from under the agreements with the US and Russia.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful counterterrorism operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents – namely, Euphrates Shield in 2016, Olive Branch in 2018 and Peace Spring in 2019 .
Meanwhile, Assistance Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf told a congressional hearing on Wednesday, “We are deeply concerned by recent increased rhetoric from Turkey about potential military moves into the north of Syria.”
Asked if Ankara would give up such plans in light of US efforts, Leaf replied: “I couldn’t give you the assurance that they are going to.”
3 PKK terrorists eliminated
Turkey, determined to eradicate terrorism at its roots, has eliminated another three PKK terrorists in northern Iraq.
The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) has carried out an operation in northern Iraq’s Gara, according to security sources speaking to AA. Stepping up operations, MIT has recently eliminated several high-ranking PKK terrorists. Among those eliminated last week was Dilbirin Kaçar, code-named “Rojda,” one of the PKK’s assassins.