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Turkey strengthens Syrian border: DHA



A wall along the border between Turkey and Syria can be seen on January 30, 2018 in the province of Kilis in Turkey. REUTERS / Murad Sezer

ISTANBUL (Reuters) ̵

1; Turkey sends reinforcements to its border with Syria, Demiroren News Agency (DHA) reported Sunday, adding that around 100 vehicles including mounted pickup trucks and weapons have come to the area are.

The increased military activity comes a few days after President Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey will postpone a planned military operation on the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria after the United States has decided to withdraw from Syria.

DHA announced that the Turkish convoy had been heading towards the Kilis border district in the southern province of Hatay. He had tanks, howitzers, machine guns and buses with commands included.

Part of the military equipment and personnel is to be deployed at posts along the border, while some have come to Syria via the district of Elbeyli, DHA said.

Elbeyli is located 45 kilometers from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, a major hotspot between Ankara and Washington. In June, NATO allies reached an agreement to expel the YPG from the region. However, Turkey complained that the timetable was delayed.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the reason for the reinforcements, and Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment.

Erdogan said Friday that Turkey will take over the fight against the fighters of the Islamic State in Syria as the United States withdraw their troops, adding that the proposed operation targets both the YPG and the Islamic State would.

Ankara sees the US-backed YPG militia as a terrorist organization and as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been rioting in Turkey since the 1980s.

Turkey has carried out two operations in Syria called the "Euphrates Shield" and "Olive Branch" against the YPG and the Islamic State in northern Syria.

Reporting by Yesim Dikmen; Letter from Ali Kucukgocmen; Edited by Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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