Turkey warns military operation in Syria could happen 'at any time'
The warning was given by Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin to US-based news outlet Bloomberg.
Turkey has for months been threatening to attack the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), whose stronghold is in northern and northeastern Syria.
It says it aims to clear areas of Syria near the Turkish border “terrorists”.
Following the threats, the Syrian regime has fortified positions in SDF-held areas to prepare for “any possible aggression” by Turkey, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.
Ankara says that Kurdish armed groups in Syria - which were backed by the West in the war against the Islamic State extremist group - are front groups for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who the US and Europe have categorised as a terrorist group.
The Turkish plans for an anti-SDF operation in Syria has faced opposition from the US as well as Iran and Russia, which have backed the Assad regime throughout the Syrian conflict, which started in 2011 following the brutal repression of peaceful protests.
Moscow recently called on the regime to work alongside Syrian Kurdish groups to fight against Turkish-backed Syrian forces, which control areas of Syria along the Turkish border.
The Syrian conflict has grown increasingly complex since it began, with foreign powers and Islamist extremists intervening.
More than 500,000 people have been killed in the conflict and millions more injured and displaced, mostly as a result of bombing of civilian areas by the regime and its Russian ally.