Beirut, Ankara- In the past few hours, the option of a military solution advanced on the talks sponsored by Washington between Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Ankara-backed opposition factions in the countryside of northern Aleppo.
While all efforts failed to reach a deal in which Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) would hand over Arab-majority villages to Liwa al-Mutassim, Ankara decided to allude about a military operation, even if such a decision was still not final.
A military opposition source in north Syria told Asharq Al-Awsat that Turkey has not yet informed the factions fighting in the countryside of Aleppo about its decision to open a combat in the face of the SDF. However, the source said that such an operation could kick off at any time.
“Turkey granted the SDF two much time to withdraw from the Arab villages it entered. There was even an agreement in the past months to hand over those villages to Liwa al-Mutassim. However, the Kurdish forces withdrew from the deal,” the source said.
The source also said that “Ankara sent reinforcements to the countryside of northern Aleppo in a first step towards the start of a military operation,” adding that “in case the battle kicks off, it would not be managed by the same operation room that handled the Euphrates Shield operations.
“There is a new and independent operation room,” the source said.
Meanwhile, a leading Kurdish official said his forces refuse to hand over any area, village or farm previously liberated by the SDF to Turkey, the Syrian regime or the opposition factions.
“We will not back out of our decision,” the official told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The Kurdish source warned that in case any force or group advances towards SDF-controlled areas, those forces would be treated as an occupying power.