A Turkish military convoy has reportedly crossed the common border into Syria, ignoring repeated warnings by Damascus for Ankara to respect the country’s territorial integrity.
The Turkish convoy, the second one to enter the Arab country within the space of a week, made its way into the Syrian territory through the al-Yabsah crossing, anti-Syria news sources reported on Tuesday.
According to anti-Syria militants groups, the convoy features 15 Turkish armored vehicles and personnel carriers.
Upon violating the border, the vehicles headed towards the northern Syrian areas, which are controlled by the armed outfits.
The militants identified the exact destination of the convoy as the Tal Abyad area, which is located in the north of the Syrian province of Raqqah.
No earlier than on Wednesday, a militant commander had also said that the Turkish army had sent large reinforcements to the Syrian territory through the Tal Abyad and Bab al-Salama border crossings.
Turkey has conducted several incursions against neighboring Syria’s northern parts since 2016 to target the Kurdish militants affiliated with the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Ankara associates the YPG with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting a separatist war against Turkey for decades.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that the country was to take yet “another step” to “clean up” the northern Syrian cities of Tal Rifat and Manbij. The Turkish forces would then fan out to other areas in the Arab country, the Turkish leader added.
On Monday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar claimed that no one should try to prevent Turkey from conducting a military operation in Syria’s north, alleging that the operation was required to secure the Turkish borders.
Most recently, Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates vehemently condemned Turkey’s acts of aggression against the country, saying Turkish forces’ incursions violated international law.
“The aggressive threats of the Turkish regime pose a blatant violation of the international law and the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria,” the ministry said.