Turkey ready to fight in Syria 'at any threat from Kurds'

Armin Laschet designated governor of North Rhine-Westphalia gestures at the state parliament in Dusseldorf Germany Tuesday

Among the issues discussed between the parties also was written guarantees of the US that detachments of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) won't use USA armament against Turkey. "We'll do what we can", he told reporters traveling with him to Germany.

The Turkish government, meanwhile, has floated the claim that Secretary of Defense James Mattis promised to take back any weapons provided to the YPG following the liberation of Raqqa.

Turkey's military is gearing up for an all-out offensive on areas now held by Kurdish militia in northern Syria, local media reported on Thursday.

Daily clashes are taking place between Kurdish forces and Turkish-backed groups in northern Syria.

Analysis of PYD-linked social media accounts has shown them in possession of multiple rocket launcher pads, 80- and 120-millimeter mortars, MK19 grenade launchers, M4 Carbine and M16 infantry rifles, Humvee armored vehicles, Cougar armored personnel carriers and FGM-148 anti-tank missiles, all made in the U.S. Though the U.S. has claimed they "welcome" Syrian offensives against ISIS, they've continued to attack them every time they get close. "What we gave them were weapons for urban fighting, basically".

"We will make the real owners of those weapons. pay for any bullet that will be fired to our country, for every drop of blood that will be shed", he said. However, Mattis did say that as fighting goes on the United States will collect weapons, or take certain weapons back and provide the Kurds with others: "When they don't need certain things any more, we'll replace those with something they do need". The Turkish defense ministry said that the first inventory had already been sent to Turkey.

The SDF adviser also warned of the potential damage to the US-backed mission to clear the Islamic State group stronghold of Raqqa as SDF fighters would have to be diverted to Afrin to tackle Turkish and Turkish-backed rebel forces.

Over the past week, the Turkish military has steadily built up forces in northern Syria outside of the district of Afrin. Ankara views it as Syrian branch of the PKK, which has been designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and EU. The officials said that artillery and surface-to-air missiles were not provided.

The initial weapons deliveries began at the end of May, and the Pentagon said they included small arms and ammunition.

"All of these moves are against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", he said.

"An attack (in vicinity of) Afrin could piss off the YPG enough to disrupt the Raqqa operation, but I think a mediation and de-escalation there is more likely", said Jennifer Cafarella, an expert Syrian civil war at the Institute for the Study of War.

But Mattis said the de-confliction talks continue and are happening at several military levels, to insure that aircraft and ground forces are safe.

"We side with the territorial integrity of Syria", he added.


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