Erdogan threatens attack on Kurd-held Afrin 'in days ahead'

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"We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally", Pahon said.

A senior Turkish official said the US's training of the new "Border Security Force" was the reason for Ankara's summoning of Washington's charge d'affaires on Wednesday last week. "With the Idlib operation, we are collapsing the western wing", Erdogan said, referring to Afrin.

The US-led anti-ISIL coalition is working with its Syrian militia allies to set up a new border force of 30,000 personnel, the coalition said on Sunday, a move that has added to Turkish anger over Washington's support for Kurdish-dominated forces in Syria.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused the YPG of attempting to link Afrin with a large Kurdish-controlled area to the east. Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield offensive in northern Syria in 2016 to push back Islamic State from its border and block the convergence of the Kurdish-run regions.

Late a year ago, Turkish troops were then deployed to rebel-held northern Idlib province, south of Afrin, as part of an agreement with Iran and Russian Federation to implement four so-called de-escalation zones in flashpoint areas around Syria.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation against the Afrin enclave aims to "purge terror" from his country's southern border.

"In case the terrorists will not surrender, we will destroy them", he added.

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"There is attacks and clashes on the border between Turkey and the People's Protection Units YPG", Hediye Yusuf said on Twitter. "They will see what we'll do in about a week", Erdogan said.

Roj, the YPG spokesman, said the Kurdish militia would fight to "defend our gains, our territories".

She called Turkey's operation against Afrin a "violation" that "undermines worldwide efforts to reach a political solution in Syria".

This makes nearly certain that the US designated terror group PKK's Syrian armed YPG militia will be deployed to the Turkish-Syrian border, a move that will further increase tensions in the area as well as with Washington.

Since December, Ankara has reinforced its southern border in Hatay and sent armoured vehicles, tanks and howitzers, sources told Hurriyet daily.

The Turkey-PKK conflict has killed an estimated 40,000 people since 1984 and the resumption of hostilities in July 2015 killed more than 3,300 people, including state security forces, militants and civilians.