Syrian Kurds mobilize ahead of Turkish incursion

epa04633898 A picture made avaliable on 23 February 2015 shows a fighter from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), looking toward a Turkish tank guarding the new site for the Tomb of Suleyman Shah, near the Esme region in Syria, 22 February 2015. The historic Ottoman tomb of Suleyman Shah, the 12th century grandfather to the founder of the Ottoman dynasty, along with the dozens of Turkish troops who protect it have been evacuated from its former position approximately 40 kilometers inside Syrian territory, while a new site is prepared some 200 meters inside Syria from the Turkish-Syrian border. EPA/MURSEL COBAN / DEPO PHOTOS

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The Kurdish militia-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Wednesday declared a three-day state alert in preparation for the Turkish incursion.

“As threats and mobilization of the Turkish Army and its mercenaries escalate … we call on our people … to go to the area bordering Turkey to carry out their moral duty and show resistance at these sensitive historical moments,” an SDF statement said.

According to a local broadcast citing Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Wednesday, the Turkish army’s preparations are well underway.

An aide to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the Turkish army and its Syrian rebel allies would cross the Syrian border “shortly.”

The Turkish government has said the Syrian Kurds are linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Ankara, the European Union and the United States regard as a terrorist organization.

US troops on Monday started pulling back from areas in northeastern Syria, paving the way for a Turkish incursion. The SDF had been a central partner in the US effort to defeat ISIS in Syria.

Via DW

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