President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey would launch the offensive in a few days, targeting a border region east of the Euphrates river which is held by the YPG Kurdish militia.
Up to 15,000 Syrian rebels are ready to join a Turkish military offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, but no date has been set for the operation, a spokesman for the main Turkish-backed Syrian rebel group said on Thursday.
The United States has been supporting the YPG in the fight against Islamic State insurgents since 2015. Following cross-border shelling from Turkey into Kurdish-controlled territory two months ago, U.S. forces have set up three military observation posts near the border. Turkey says the YPG is a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the state in southeastern Turkey for more than three decades.