Turkish troops enter Syria in operation against Kurdish militia

Turkish troops enter Syria in operation against Kurdish militia

Turkish officials say 11 rockets launched from Syria have landed in Turkish towns along the border, killing at least one Syrian refugee and injuring 47.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France was calling the UN Security Council meeting as it was deeply anxious by the "brutal degradation of the situation" in flashpoints like Afrin.

A main goal of the military operation was to recapture Tel Rifaat, a town southeast of Afrin, and a string of Arab villages the YPG captured from rebels in February 2016, driving out tens of thousands of inhabitants, Abdul Rahim said. The SDF has said it will have no choice but to defend itself if attacked. The YPG has said Turkey's strikes killed six civilians and three of its fighters, and wounded 13 civilians. An earlier deployment in Idlib, to the south of Afrin, denied the Kurds access to the Mediterranean Sea - a prized target for a planned Kurdish corridor running all the way to northern Iraq.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing YPG are not the only groups in the operation area, Yıldırım claimed, pointing to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militants who were allowed to leave Raqqa under USA watch, referring to a BBC report.

The Turkish operation is aimed at driving a USA -allied Kurdish militia from the region. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Kommersant newspaper that Turkey had been infuriated by "unilateral" USA actions in Syria.

The PYD/PKK terrorist organization is using images of its "child warriors" in its black propaganda against the Turkish Armed Forces, according to a security source Sunday.

The offensive in Afrin would not directly entangle U.S. troops, which are embedded with Kurdish fighters in the country's northeast.

Skinner said a Turkish operation would be a "serious blow" for the US-led coalition in Syria which still depended heavily on the YPG to stabilise the area after the ousting of IS from major towns.

USA defense chief says North Korea threatens global stability with weapons programs
It harkens back to the Cold War-era where the US and Soviet Union projected power and military might around the globe. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in a speech releasing the strategy , called the new approach "fit for our time".

The operation also includes airstrikes on the district, threatening to create another humanitarian disaster in the region.

Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war, will demand in the United Nations that Turkey halt it's operation in Afrin, RIA news quoted a member of the Russian parliament's security committee as saying on Saturday. Russian Federation pulled back troops that had been deployed near Afrin after it was briefed on the operation by Turkey.

Mr Cavusoglu said Turkey wasn't satisfied with the U.S. explanation, while adding that it has no interest in colliding with the United States over the operation. They said they refused the proposal.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Saturday at 5 p.m.(1400GMT) in Syria's northwestern Afrin region; the aim of the operation is to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to eliminate PYD and Daesh terror groups, and protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The French Foreign Minister added that he had spoken with his Turkish counterpart about the matter.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said that the Turkish army troops, whose number was not specified, were advancing alongside forces from the pro-Ankara rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The YPG also accused Russian Federation, which, according to the BBC, has evacuated its troops from Afrin province, of being as much responsible for the invasion as Turkey, adding that multiple civilians and YPG fighters have already been killed.

But a YPG spokesman claimed Turkish forces seeking to enter Afrin had been "blocked" and that it had hit two Turkish tanks. It said measures have been taken to ensure the safety of its servicemen in Afrin, and some troops have been relocated.

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