Syrian regime troops began moving to the north to confront Turkey’s ongoing counterterrorism operation, state TV said Sunday.
State media, which said the troops were moving to face “Turkish army aggression,” did not say where the regime troops were deploying in northern Syria.
Earlier Sunday, the Lebanese broadcaster al-Mayadeen said Bashar Assad’s forces would deploy within 48 hours to the town of Ayn al-Arab which is held by the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), and the nearby town of Manbij which is controlled by YPG-aligned forces.
The towns fall within a swathe east of the Euphrates River controlled by the YPG terrorists that is currently being targeted in an operation by Turkey and the Syrian National Army (SNA).
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
On Sunday, Turkish military and SNA forces took control of the western part and a central district of Syria's Tal Abyad town as Turkey's Operation Peace Spring entered its fifth day.
Turkish and SNA forces continue fighting with YPG terrorists in the eastern districts of the town.
With the recent advancements, the number of villages liberated in northern Syria's Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn during Operation Peace Spring has reached 42.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.