Less than seven days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey threatened army offensive on Syria, Turkish jets have attacked Kurdish militia commentary posts within the Syrian city of Afrin.
Authorities in Turkey say the assault is to oust the Kurdish fighters from Syria.
Explosions had been heard as jets swooped over Afrin, and Turkish-backed rebels from the Free Syrian Army started getting into the city, in line with Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s state-run media outlet.
Afrin is underneath the management of the People’s Protection Units –the largely Kurdish militia often known as the YPG and regarded by Turkey as a terror group.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed the air operation to remove the group and referred to as most important opposition chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu to tell him about it.
President Erdogan mentioned the army offensive is in its early part, noting that forces will subsequent transfer on the Syrian city of Manbij farther east on the Turkish border.
“We know that without security in Syria, there cannot be security in Turkey,” Erdogan advised members of his ruling celebration in Kutahya.
Ankara, which has lengthy fought Kurdish unrest in southeastern Turkey and staunchly opposes the encroachment of a sovereign state on its territory, is set to forestall the institution of a Kurdish state throughout the border in Syria.
It has used army drive up to now towards Kurds and ISIS in northern Syria.
Launching a brand new operation focusing on Kurdish fighters might open up a brand new frontier within the Syrian battle, which has lasted for practically seven years.
It would additionally sharpen tensions between Turkey and the United States, which helps and now brazenly arms Kurdish militias combating ISIS.
Washington has been involved a few Turkish army incursion and has referred to as on Ankara to chorus from launching one.
“The focus needs to be on ISIS,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert mentioned this week.
Turkish forces, that are calling the endeavor Operation Olive Branch, mentioned they’re focusing on ISIS in addition to Kurdish militia.
“The operation is being carried out within the right of self-defense and with respect to Syrian territorial integrity,” the armed forces mentioned in an announcement.
Read extra: CNN