Turkey starts air and ground military operations against Kurds in northern Syria


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Turkey launched operations against Kurdish militants in northern Syria on Wednesday, first with strikes then with a land offensive, Ankara said, targeting a "terror corridor". The UN Security Council will hold a closed meeting on Thursday.

Turkish forces supported by Syrian militants launched a ground offensive into Syrian territory as part of its operation against Kurdish forces, the defence ministry said Wednesday. "The Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian National Army have launched the land operation into the east of the Euphrates river as part of the Operation Peace Spring," it tweeted.

The spokesman for one of the pro-Turkish Syrian militant groups also told AFP the land phase of the operation began in Tal Abyad, an area under the control of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Turkish media said special forces and armoured vehicles led the ground invasion and had entered at several points along the border.

Earlier on Wednesday Erdogan wrote on Twitter in English. He said the offensive targeted Kurdish militants and the Islamic State group in northern Syria.
"Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area," he wrote, adding that the operation was also aimed at enabling the return of the Syrian refugees in Turkey. "We will preserve Syria's territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists," he added.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 11 people died during the Turkish bombing of the border region, including at least eight civilians. The monitoring group, based in London, added that at least two of the civilian victims were killed in strikes on the city of Qamishli.

France, Britain call for Security Council meeting
US President Donald Trump said in a statement that Washington "does not endorse" the Turkish assault, calling the operation "a bad idea".
France has “very strongly” condemned the Turkish operation and is calling for a UN Security Council meeting, France's EU minister, Amélie de Montchalin, announced moments after the start of the offensive.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom are finishing a joint statement that will be extremely clear on the fact that we very strongly condemn what has been reported,” she told the foreign affairs committee at the French national assembly (lower house).

UN diplomats seem to have answered the calls, for they said the Security Council will hold a closed meeting Thursday on Turkey's military action. Two other European nations on the council – Belgium and Poland – also requested the meeting on Wednesday, the diplomats said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions were private.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement on Wednesday he had "serious concerns about the unilateral military action that Turkey has taken". "This risks destabilising the region, exacerbating humanitarian suffering, and undermining the progress made against Daesh which should be our collective focus," he added, using the Arabic name for the Islamic State (IS) group.

The UN Security Council's president, South African Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila, appealed to Turkey to "protect civilians" and exercise "maximum restraint" in its military operations. Matjila, who holds the council presidency for October, expressed hope the council could meet quickly to discuss the situation.


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This is horrible. Trump is going to lose a lot of support. The Kurds (Medes) are an ancient, homeless group of people who God used to destroy Babylon.

They treat their women well and have fought alongside our troops.

When Obama removed troops ISIS rose. Turkey is barreling toward strict radicalism and will unleash ISIS again. Turkey wants to unleash thousands into the EU. Trump might as well pull out our troops in Europe. This is not going to go well. Israel has already stated their support for the Kurds. I can’t wrap my head around this. Genocide.

Trump’s named hotels are in Instanbul.