Turkey says will respond immediately to any threats from Western Syria

Turkey vows to spare Afrin civilians as reports of 1st non-combatant deaths emerge

The Turkish National Security Council (MGK) said Wednesday that Turkish authorities won't allow formation of the BSF "terrorist army" along Turkish borders, branding it a threat to citizens.

Turkey has reacted angrily and warned of an imminent incursion into Syria's Afrin district after Washington said it would help Syrian Democratic Forces led by Kurdish YPG militias to set up a new 30,000 strong border force.

"It was emphasised that we are ready, immediately and decisively, to take the steps needed to eliminate the threats... coming from the west of Syria", it added.

You are looking at stabilizing a variety of areas that we have already freed from ISIS.

The U.S. -led coalition is now training Syrian militias and plans to establish a new border force together with the Kurdish-led opposition fighters, consisting of 30,000 personnel over the next several years, according to the coalition. He clarified America's intentions, which he said were to provide training to local elements in areas liberated from the Islamic State group.

He was referring to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

Nine tanks deployed to the Syria-Turkey border have recently reached their destinations in Hatay's Kırıkhan and Hassa counties in the south, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on January 18.

On Monday, Erdogan vowed to crush the border force and called on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to take a stand against the United States, a fellow ally.

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Meanwhile, U.S. military officials have distanced themselves from Kurdish groups in Afrin, in an indication that Washington may not intervene to block or deter a potential Turkish attack, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

"We are helping our brothers there so that they can protect their own territories", said Erdogan, stressing that the Turkish army would "destroy" all terror spots in Syria one by one, starting with the Afrin and Manbij regions. "Turkey's security concerns are legitimate", the statement said.

On Monday, with relations between the United States and Turkey stretched close to breaking point, Erdogan threatened to "strangle" the planned USA -backed force in Syria "before it's even born".

TEV-DEM called upon the Kurdish people and Syrian society to stand against the Turkish attacks and urged the global community to provide security for the people of Afrin.

Moscow, another key player in the region and a vehement supporter of the brutal regime of the Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, considers the USA plans to be a "dangerous play" because they will lead to an even deeper split within Syrian civil society.

It was further muddied this week when the USA -led coalition revealed plans for a 30,000-strong security force to police Syria's northeast borders with Turkey and Iraq. He also said the USA would step up its diplomatic efforts and push for broader political changes in Syria, roiled by war that has claimed up to a half-million lives since it broke out in 2011.

Turkey is making the final preparations for an attack on the Kurdish-controlled Syrian province of Afrin, but there are still Russian troops on the ground, pro-government newspaper Habertürk said.


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