Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on December 12 announced plans to start an operation on the eastern Euphrates bank against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the “coming days”. Ankara regards them as a Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is outlawed in Turkey.
Today Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar declared that Ankara has ended all the preparations for carrying out a new trans-border operation in Syria. It means that military vehicles, plan of offensive and even the composition of forces are ready and known to Turkish top commanders.
According Turkish media reports nearly 80,000 soldiers of Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are ready to take part in the biggest cross-border operation in the country’s modern history. Moreover TAF are expected to be supported by pro-Turkish armed factions located in Syria.
According to numerous reports, we expect the next number of Turkish forces in upcoming military operation in Northern Syria:
24,000 of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters which also includes the National Army;
80,000 of Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) soldiers;
2,000 representatives from tribes of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa;
1,000 former terrorists.
The total number is nearly 107,000 fighters.