17:58 GMT +319 January 2020
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    Turkey Launches 'Operation Peace Spring' in Northern Syria (80)

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced earlier on Wednesday the start of Operation Peace Spring against PKK/YPG and the Daesh in Syria's north "to neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone".

    Saudi Arabia quickly condemned Turkish "aggression" in northeast Syria, calling the military operation a violation of the sovereignty and territorial unity of Syria, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing a source in the kingdom's foreign ministry.

    According to the press service of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), at least three Kurdish militia fighters and five civilians were killed, while dozens were injured in Turkish shelling of border areas in Syria.

    In addition to aerial attacks on Keri Sbei, Tal Abyad, and West Ayn Issa, areas surrounding Sari Kaneh, Ras al-Ain, Qamishlo, Darbasiyah, and Dirk were subjected to intense artillery shelling, according to the SDF report. Turkish jets also reportedly pounded a power line supplying electricity to the Alluk water management facility, as well as a dam north of Al-Malikiyah.

    Turkey has played a considerable role in the Syrian civil war by supporting various armed opposition groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, while at the same time attacking Kurdish forces located in the country, despite protests from Damascus. Damascus has repeatedly called the presence of Turkish forces on the Syrian border illegal and urged Ankara to withdraw its troops. 

    Turkey views Kurdish forces in Syria as an extension of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which has been classified by Ankara as a terrorist organization. The People’s Protection Units (YPG) is the party’s armed wing.

    Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed his deep concern over the recent developments in Syria and called on all sides to protect civilians in the region amid the military incursion.

    *Daesh (ISIS, IS, ISIL, Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.

    Turkey Launches 'Operation Peace Spring' in Northern Syria (80)


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    Operation Peace Spring, offensive, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), PKK-YPG, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia
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