Turkey bombs Syria: Erdogan begins Operation Peace Spring

 rt.com  10/09/2019 13:16:00 

9 Oct, 2019 13:16

Turkey bombs Syria: Erdogan begins Operation Peace Spring

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched an operation against Kurdish-led militias in northeastern Syria. Ankara sees the Kurdish militias as terrorists and argues an offensive is needed to bring peace to the region.

The operation targets not only Kurdish-led militias, that Ankara believes to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group which is outlawed in Turkey, but also Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists, according to Erdogan.

#OperationPeaceSpring 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 Syrias territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.

— Recep Tayyip Erdoan (@RTErdogan) October 9, 2019

Turkish aircraft and artillery began striking positions in Syria immediately after Erdogan’s announcement, according to media reports.

Speaking to civilians on the ground families started to flee south this morning, others stayed put & protested imminent Turkish offensive. One woman in Tal-Abyad messaged "The town is on high alert and civilians are terrified" then she vanished offline, her phone is off #Syria

— Bel Trew (@Beltrew) October 9, 2019

The military operation appears to be primarily targeting the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group largely consisting of ethnic Kurds. The SDF has been a close ally of the US-led coalition, with members serving as foot soldiers for its years-long fight against IS.

Turkish warplanes have started to carry out airstrikes on civilian areas. There is a huge panic among people of the region.

— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) October 9, 2019
Also on rt.com WATCH: Former US military base in N. Syria left deserted following withdrawal

PKK militants, seeking an independent Kurdish state, have been waging a low-intensity insurgency in the southeast of Turkey for decades. The party is listed as a terrorist group not only by Turkey, but also by the US and NATO.

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