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Turkey launches military “Operation Peace Spring” in Syria

It was short after 4 o’ clock Wednesday afternoon, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced with a Tweet that the military operation in Syria has started. He has name the invasion to the North of neighboring Syria in order to create a “safe zone” Operation Peace Spring.

Erdogan’s Tweet in Turkish was followed by two also in English.

“The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG and Daesh 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.”

Reports speak of “intensive Turkish warplanes raids across many cities in northeastern Syria.”

Despite or exactly because of the controversial threats by the US, Erdogan decided to “stick to the plan,” invade Syria under the pretext of creating safe zones for millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey. However, his ultimate target is clearly the US-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters who have played a central role in battling the Islamic State. Erdogan sees them also as allies of the Turkish terrorist group PPK whom he wants to wipe out.

Washington is monitoring the Turkish operation with caution. Although President Donald Trump practically gave the green light to Ankara on Sunday, he also threatened to “economically crash Turkey.”

All the US forces apparently have not withdrawn from the area, as Trump had announced.

The American presence, which includes about 1,000 troops in northeastern Syria, is a lean force dispersed across a number of bases.

According to Washington Post, Kurdish commanders are mobilizing civilian defense and say they might be forced to abandon their Syrian prisons holding thousands of captured Islamic State fighters and head for the front lines against Turkey.

Following the start of Turkish operation, Donald Trump tweeted:

The European Unionis so far silcent, except for a quote by former EC President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Apart from wiping out Kurdish fighters, Turkey’s plan foresees also a “safe zone” with a length 300-480 km and a depth of 30-40 km inside Syria.

Map source: Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu.

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