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Turkey sends new reinforcements to border with Syria; Trump considers US Envoy McGurk’s resignation “a nothing event by a grandstander”

Editing: Obaida Al Nabwani |
TranslationEditor: Vera Halvorsen |
Translation: Nouha Salti
Publication date: 2018/12/23 11:17

Local and field news:

On Sunday, the Turkish Army sent reinforcements to its forces on the border with Syria. The military convoy, escorted by Turkish police officers, reached the Elbeyli area in the Kilis Province of Turkey. The convoy includes armored personnel carriers to reinforce military locations in the area.

On Saturday, Turkey also sent similar reinforcements, including soldiers and military vehicles, to its forces near the border with Syria. This convoy reached the Kilis Province in Southern Turkey, amidst high security levels.

Another military convoy entered Aleppo via the Hor Kilis and al-Rai crossings. The convoy included hundreds of soldiers, heavy military vehicles, tanks and BMP vehicles. The convoy is likely to head for the Autonomous Administration-controlled Manbij area.

The Kurdish National Alliance in Syria called all Kurdish parties to resolve their internal disagreement and avoid exclusivity in decisions toward the Turkish threats.

Shop owners from the city of Amuda, 70 kilometers north of al-Hasakah, Northeastern Syria, confirmed that the Turkish threats have decreased the market activity in the city.

The Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) said that it will relocate its forces to Northern Syria if the International Coalition forces withdraw form the al-Tanf area near the Syrian-Iraqi border, adding that the International Coalition forces do not intend to withdraw from the area.

In Aleppo, the National Liberation Front of the FSA blocked a Syrian government forces infiltration attempt in the village of al-Mansourah, 10 kilometers west of Aleppo, Northern Syria.

The Syrian government forces shelled the Shamiko area west of Aleppo with more than 15 artillery shells from bases in the Artillery Academy. The shelling injured a man, a woman, and two children.

Unknown persons shot and killed a man, his wife, and their two children, after the killers broke into the family’s house in the village of in Bhourta, Northern Aleppo. The killers escaped after the incident and no further information about them was reported.

The Guardians of Religion organization, which refused the Turkish-Russian agreement in Idlib, Northern Syria, announced targeting Syrian government forces locations east of the Idlib governorate.

The military council of the FSA in the city of Maarrat al-Nu’man executed several fighters accused of kidnapping, stealing, and killing.

The Olive Branch Organization opened a self-education center for school dropouts in the city of Khan Shaykhun. Yehia al-Hallak, the center’s manager, said that the Olive Branch and the Free Idlib Educational Directorate sponsored the center.

In Southern Syria, unknown persons wrote phrases criticizing the Syrian government on buildings, shopfronts, and walls in the city of Nawa, 40 kilometers northwest of Daraa, calling for the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

On Friday, unknown persons wrote phrases against the Syrian government on walls in the city of al-Harak. Similar incidents occurred in November 2018 in the city of al-Sanamayn, the town of al-Mozayrib, and the village of al-Karak.

International and political news:

A US official confirmed the resignation of Brett H. McGurk, the US Special Presidential Envoy to the International Coalition against the Islamic State, two days after the US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the US troops from Syria. Trump considers McGurk’s resignation a “nothing event by a grandstander.”

Trump tweeted, “Brett McGurk, who I do not know, was appointed by President Obama in 2015. Was supposed to leave in February but he just resigned prior to leaving. Grandstander? The Fake News is making such a big deal about this nothing event!”

McGurk is the second US official to resign following James Mattis, the US Secretary of State, after Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. An official at the Pentagon expected more resignations to follow the decision.