Turkish forces launch military attack against Kurds at Syrian border
Turkey: Turkey has launched an offensive into north-eastern Syria, unleashing air strikes and artillery barrages aimed at US-backed Kurdish forces who control the region.
Turkey began a planned military offensive into north-eastern Syria on Wednesday, launching airstrikes and artillery fire across the border just days after the Trump administration announced it was pulling US troops back from the area.
The operation is aimed at pushing Kurdish forces – who were a key ally of the US in the fight against ISIS – away from Turkey’s border.
“Our aim is to destroy the terror corridor which is trying to be established on our southern border and to bring peace and peace to the region,” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted as he announced the start of the operation.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who operate in the area are US allies. They are led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization.
Turkey has said it intends to create a “safe zone” in order to return millions of refugees to Syrian soil.
Kurdish-led forces in north-eastern Syria said the Turkish bombing killed five civilians and injured dozens more on Wednesday.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at eight, including women and children.