Turkish troops ready up for combat in Northern Syria
Turkey is still ignoring Syria and Russia's warnings against conducting a military operation on Syrian soil, and Ankara is likely to wage aggression that violates Damascus' sovereignty.
Turkish troops have taken combat formation and are all set to start Ankara's fifth military operation on the northern Syrian border, which Turkey claims to target the Kurdistan Workers' Party and its military wing, the YPG, local media reported on Tuesday.
The Turkish occupation soldiers have already conducted four military operations in Syria since 2016, with the latest announced in late May.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on May 23 that the Turkish army intends to carry out military operations to "combat terrorism" at the Turkish state borders, explaining that his government "will start taking new steps to complete the safe zone 30 km north of Syria."
Turkey's cross-border operation into Syria was reported as likely to kick off this week, with Ankara continuing to amass troops near the border and into the Tell Rifaat and Manbij region.
Kurdish militants, on the other hand, have redeployed troops from other Syrian regions to Manbij and Tall Rifat and installed entry and exit checkpoints inside the cities, the Sabah newspaper reported.
In light of Turkey bolstering its military in Syria, the Syrian armed forces enforced its military points in the cities in the face of Ankara's Euphrates Shield forces.
As the Syrian armed forces confronted the Turkish occupation forces, Ankara's artillery shelled several villages in the northern Aleppo countryside.
On the diplomatic end of things, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said it was following up on "the aggressive statements of the Turkish regime regarding the establishment of the so-called 'safe zone' in northern Syria and the repeated and continuous attacks on Syrian territory, which have claimed the lives of a number of innocent citizens."
The source added that the Turkish statements also contradict the understanding of the "Astana process and its outcomes," saying that Ankara's aggressive threats constituted "a blatant violation of international law and the country's territorial unity and safety."
Erdogan's stance against the Kurdish fighters has also soured relations with Finland and Sweden, who have not yet received Turkey's approval to join the Atlantic Alliance because of their refusal to brand the PKK as a terrorist group. Erdogan is currently trying to pressure both countries into branding the PKK as terrorists in exchange for their accession to NATO.
Syria talks participation confirmed by Damascus, guarantors, opposition: Kazakh Ministry
Delegations from the guarantor countries, the Syrian government, and the US and Turkey-backed opposition will take part in talks on Syria in Nur-Sultan on June 15-16, Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aibek Smadiyarov said.
The talks come at a time of great tensions between Syria and the opposition parties, and it is not known what the talks would yield.
The guarantor states that will be participating in the talks are Russia, Turkey, and Iran. The other parties will include the Syrian government and the armed Syrian opposition.