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The Turkish military and the so-called National Syrian Army (NSA) have launched “Operation Peace Spring” against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, Prescient Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced in the afternoon of October 9.
“The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched Operation Peace Spring against PKK/YPG and Daesh [ISIS] terrorists 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,” Erdogan wrote on Twitter.
The Turkish President claimed that the operation will neutralize “terror threats” against Turkey, establish a safe zone in Syria’s northeastern region and facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.
“We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists,” Erdogan added.
Few seconds after Erdogan’s announcement, warplanes of the Turkish Air Force (TAF) began conducting airstrikes on positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) along the border with Turkey.
— Riam Dalati (@Dalatrm) October 9, 2019
Local sources said that the intense Turkish airstrikes targeted positions in border towns of Tell Abyad, Ras al-Ayn, Kobane as well as around the city of al-Qamishli. So far, there is no reports of any civilian casualties.
Over the last few days, the SDF’s leadership vowed to repel any Turkish attack on northeast Syria. However, the group is yet to respond to Turkish airstrikes.
The Turkish military and its proxies will likely launch their ground operation in the upcoming few hours. The exact goals of the operation are yet to be known.