Turkey launches offensive into northern Syria

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Turkish military forces have bombed parts of north-eastern Syria to launch a long-threatened offensive aimed at pushing Kurdish militants from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from its border areas.

Syria’s state-run television reported that the Turkish army launched an operation in the country’s north by carrying out an airstrike on the city of Ras al-Ayn in the northeastern province of al-Hasakah.

On Twitter, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation “was to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area”.

He added that it would “preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.”

The Turkish government wants to create a “safe zone” cleared of Kurdish militias which will also house two million of Turkey’s 3.6 million Syrian refugees.

This is coming just days after President Donald Trump controversially withdrew US troops from northern Syria.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syria branch of the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

 




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