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Turkey amasses tanks, armored vehicles along southern border, slowly moves into Syria ahead of US withdrawal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vows to defeat ISIS, ramp up fight against US-backed Kurdish forces


Turkey is amassing tanks and armored vehicles in cities along its southern border, following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's vow to take over the fight against ISIS in Syria when American troops withdraw. Erdogan also recently pledged to ramp up strikes against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in the embattled country, and local reports say some Turkish troops have already crossed into Syria.

What are the details?

According to the Daily Mail, Turkey has built up forces in its border cities of Kilis and al-Rai, and the country's foreign minister says they will begin moving into Syria as soon as possible amid anticipation of the imminent pullout of roughly 2,000 American military personnel.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced that he was in contact with Erdogan over the U.S. troop withdrawal, and voiced his confidence in Turkey's ability to "eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria."

Local media said Turkish military vehicles were being amassed along the country's southern border Monday, and some troops had already crossed into Syria, AFP reported.

Anything else?

Washington's relationship with Ankara has improved in recent days, according to Bloomberg. In the past week, the U.S. State Department notified Congress of a proposal to sell Patriot missiles to Turkey, and Erdogan extended an invitation for President Trump to visit Turkey next year.

The Pentagon announced Monday that outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis signed the order to pull American troops out of Syria. According to Reuters, the withdrawal could begin within weeks.

One last thing…
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