Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the military operation “Source of Peace” in Syria, directed against the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan and the Islamic State.
“Our goals are to destroy the terrorist corridor that they are trying to create on our southern borders. <…> Operation Source of Peace will neutralize terrorist threats against Turkey and lead to the creation of a safe zone that will facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homes. We will preserve the territorial the integrity of Syria and free the people of the region from the clutches of terrorists”, – the head of state wrote on Twitter.
According to the Syrian State Television, the Turkish army launched air strikes on the city of Ras al-Ayn in the north-west of the province of Hašek , the village of al-Majrafa in the vicinity of the city and the SDF position in the villages of al-Mashrabia and Harbat al-Banat were also attacked.
According to Ikhbariya, there is an outflow of refugees from Ras al-Ayn.
Erdogan said last week that a decision on a Turkish operation in northern Syria east of the Euphrates could be made in the coming days.
The President noted that the main goals of Ankara will be to cleanse the Syrian border with Turkey from the self-defense forces of the Syrian Kurds, create a security zone there and place Syrian refugees, which Turkey “cannot endlessly contain”.
Washington, in turn, refused to participate in Ankara’s military operation and announced the withdrawal of troops. As stressed by representatives of the Arab-Kurdish units of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the United States thereby violated agreements with Kurdish forces.
Official Damascus has repeatedly condemned the occupation policy of Turkey in northern Syria.