Turkey’s troops and their Syrian opposition allies entered northeastern Syria on Wednesday night and the two sides began a ground offensive against Kurdish guerrillas, the defense ministry said.
A spokesman for a Syrian group involved in the attack told AFP that the ground operation began Wednesday evening towards the town of Tal Abyad, which is controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in northeastern Syria.
Earlier, Turkey bombed planes and artillery targets of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in a cross-border military operation days after US forces withdrew from the area.
The Kurdish self-administration, declared “public exile” for three days, in areas of control in the north and northeast of Syria in anticipation of the Turkish attack.
The self-administration said in a statement.We declare a state of public alarm for 3 days at the level of northern and eastern Syria and we call on all our departments institutions and people with all its components to go to the border region adjacent to Turkey to do their moral duty and to show resistance in these sensitive historical moments.
Ankara plans to establish a 32-kilometer safe zone in northern Syria and push Kurdish fighters away from the southern Turkish border claiming that, under its plans, it would allow a safe return of millions of Syrian refugees including those living on its territory.
Despite the US withdrawal from the region, Kurdish units remained in control of the largest area of the north-east of Syria, and areas of control extends from Manbij in the west to Tabqa and Raqqa in the east, and towards the Iraqi border to the Hasakah and Qamishli in the north