“Operation Peace Spring will neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.
“We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists,” Erdogan wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Wednesday.
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.
The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants where YPG forms the backbone, stated that Turkish warplanes are pounding the area, causing “huge panic among people.”
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.
Two fighter jets took off from Diyarbakir air base in southeastern Turkey as Ankara launched a military operation into northeastern Syria, AFP news agency reported.
Turkish-language CNN Turk television news network reported that several large explosions rocked Ras al-Ayn, and that the sound of planes could be heard flying overhead.
The report added that smoke could be seen rising from buildings in the city.
Wednesday 9 October 2019 22:36