Global News

Turkey begins military operation in Syria

Turkey begins military operation in Syria

Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The YPG has been the key ground component in the fight against Islamic State group in Syria.

The Turkish army responded by firing artillery shells at the bases from where the rockets were launched, it said. Bali said the SDF had sent reinforcements to Afrin.

The Kurdish militia, which forms the backbone of the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, now controls almost 25 percent of Syrian territory.

"A full Turkish air and ground offensive will not take place without Moscow's blessing", said Anthony Skinner, Director MENA at global risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft, adding a full Turkish campaign is "not inevitable".




The ministry said that "to prevent possible provocations, to exclude the threat to life and health of Russian servicemen, the operational group of the Center for Reconciliation of warring parties and military police in the Afrin area is relocated to the Tell-Adjar area". The town has since emerged as a model for US -backed Kurdish rule of largely Arab areas.

Bombing raids on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin open a new front in the battle for territory reclaimed from Islamic State.

Turkish Red Crescent has taken necessary measures to protect Syrian civilians in the aftermath of Turkish military's operation in Syria's Afrin, head of the aid agency said on Saturday. He told reporters that there were between 8,000 and 10,000 "terrorists" in Afrin. Artillery shelling could be heard in the distance. The operation came amid conflicting messages from the USA, which initially suggested it was building a 30,000-strong force along the Turkish border, angering Ankara even after Washington backpedaled. Days later, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the US would maintain a military presence with the Kurds for the foreseeable future. Turkish jets have begun an aerial offensive, codenamed operation "Olive Branch", against the Syrian Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin, in northwest Syria.

The operation is likely to escalate tensions between the US and Turkey, which has accused Washington of overarming Kurdish forces and encouraging separatist aspirations.

AFP correspondents in the area around the Turkish border village of Sugedigi in Hatay province saw several more Turkish military vehicles heading south to the border.


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