Kurdistan 24 captures completion of first US observation post on Syria-Turkey border
TAL ABYAD (Kurdistan 24) – The US-led coalition forces on Tuesday have established the first observation post east of Tal Abyad town in northern Syria on the border with Turkey.
“There will be three posts in Tal Abyad and two in Kobani,” local security sources told Kurdistan 24.
It has already been supplied with military and communication equipment, the sources added.
Last week, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the US-led coalition had decided to set up observation posts in northern Syria along parts of the border with Turkey.
Mattis further explained that recent Turkish attacks on Kurdish areas of Syria had delayed efforts of the US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State (IS) in the war-torn country.
Recent Turkish attacks on towns have killed or wounded dozens of people, including civilians in the districts of Kobani and Tal Abyad (also known as Grespin in Kurdish).
The observation posts are aimed at ensuring that Turkey and the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) remain focused on clearing the remnants of IS.
Additionally, the US army has been patrolling the region since early 2017 after Turkey bombed YPG military headquarters and even threatened to strike American troops.
However, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar recently told his country’s state media that Turkey had rejected US plans to set up the observation posts.
“We have stated that the observation points to be established by US troops on the Syrian border will have a very negative impact,” he said over the weekend.
The Kurdish-led SDF are America’s main partner in the fight against IS in Syria. Turkey considers the Kurdish component—the People’s Protection Units (YPG)—to be the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which both Turkey and the US, as well as the European Union, consider a terrorist organization.
Editing by Nadia Riva
(The video was taken in Tal Abyad by Kurdistan 24 correspondent Redwan Bezar)