A huge Turkish military convoy has arrived to Kilis border province early in the morning on Monday, March 12th.
According to Turkish media, the convoy consists of 40 military vehicles, including armored vehicles and trucks carrying field guns.
The arrival of the reinforcements comes just a few days after the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the Turkish forces have encircled the city of Afrin held by the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG).
“We are in Afrin today, tomorrow we will be in Manbij. The next day we will ensure that terrorists are cleared from the east of the Euphrates (river) till the Iraqi border,” Erdogan said.
Late January, the Turkish army supported by Free Syrian Army factions has launched operation Olive Branch seeking to capture the Kurdish-dominated region of Afrin in Aleppo province. Despite stubborn resistance of the YPG units, the Turkish troops managed to capture the section of the Syrian-Turkish border near the region and established control over several villages.
The Turkish offensive had a negative impact on the relations between Turkey and the US, which is supporting the Syrian Kurds as its main partner in the fight against ISIS. Moreover, the perspective of Turkish troops entering Manbij directly threatens the US military bases located several kilometres west of the city.