US-backed Kurdish fighters battling ISIS in Syria released a video on Saturday showing their fighters destroying a tank being used by Turkish-backed rebels in northwest Syria, Military Times first reported. "It's clear that the situation in Syria goes beyond a war on a terror organization", Erdogan said, referring to the Islamic State group, and alluding to Kurdish aspirations for statehood.
But Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, considers the YPG to be a terror group and an extension of Kurdish militants that have waged a three-decades-long insurgency inside its borders. Other footage showed YPG forces firing multiple rocket launcher systems at FSA targets. However, the YPG's release of a video showing the deployment of an ATGM system is controversial, especially because the White House approved the arming of the group in May despite protests from the Turkish government.
Iran is also fighting a PKK offshoot in its northwestern border region with Turkey.
Last week, Turkey appointed three new senior commanders for Turkey's army, air force and navy in a move believed to be at least partly aimed at preparing for an operation against the YPG in Syria.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said in an interview with media representatives in Ankara Monday that his country did not and will not hesitate to take any steps that would preserve its national security "when it is necessary". But so long as the USA retains a presence in Northeast Syria that seems unlikely. Idlib, near the Turkish border, is now seen as the most crucial zone after the former al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, took control of the city.
Last Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reported that the USA had dispatched 100 new trucks consisting of heavy weapons to the Kurdish region in Syria on July 30, which was denied by US embassy to Ankara later. Currently, Turkey is at the final stage of reinforcing the Syrian border with a 559-mile long wall.