Syrian soldiers have been mobilized towards the country’s northern border with Turkey, as a possible Turkish military operation against US-backed Kurdish-led forces in northeastern Syria is anticipated.
“We are deployed in East of Euphrates and the border parallel to the Turkish border” said Ali al-Nasser, a captain in the Syrian army.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been at odds with the Syrian government in Damascus, led by President Bashar al-Assad, but their forces have been coordinating in Ain Issa and Kobani.
Russian helicopters are also patrolling the area.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a military operation is still on the table as long as Kurdish fighters pose a security threat to the country, following talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran earlier this week.
Turkey and Turkish-backed rebels in northwestern Syria continue to intermittently clash with Syrian Democratic Forces.
Iran and Russia are key backers of Assad.
Iranian, Russian, and Syrian government officials have opposed a new Turkish operation in the war-torn country’s northeast.
In May, Erdogan announced plans for a new military operation in Syria to expel the Syrian Democratic Forces, which Ankara says are an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
Ankara intends to create a 30-kilometer (20-mile) safe zone along the border with Syria, and allow Syrian refugees in Turkey to return.