Turkey launches military action in north east Syria

Evening Standard 2 months ago

Turkey's has started its military operation into Syria, the country has announced. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon.

The attack, in the north east of the country, will target both Syrian Kurdish as well as ISIS fighters.

President Erdogan said Turkey are reinforced by their Syrian rebel allies and that the offensive aimed to eliminate a "terror corridor" along the southern Turkish border.

He said the offensive, dubbed "Operation Peace Spring", would aim to eliminate threats from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the Islamic State militants, and enable the return of Syrian refugees in Turkey after the formation of a "safe zone" in the area.

"Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area,"​ Mr Erdogan said on Twitter.

"We will preserve Syria's territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists."

He said the operation aims to eradicate “the threat of terror” against Turkey.

A spokesman for the US-backed Kurdish-led force in northern Syria said Turkish warplanes had started targeting "civilian areas".

Mustafa Bali, of the Syrian Democratic Forces, said the airstrikes have caused "a huge panic among people of the region".

The move follows Donald Trump's announcement last weekend that the US would be pulling troops out of Syria.

Thousands of captured ISIS fighters and their families are currently being held in the area by Kurdish soldiers.

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