TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Turkish military has started an offensive against Kurdish-led militias in northeastern Syrian border areas.
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 Deash (ISIL, ISIS) terrorists, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish aircraft and artillery began striking positions in Syria immediately after Erdogan’s announcement, RT reported.
Announcing the offensive, Erdogan said on Twitter: “The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army (militant groups backed by Turkey), just launched #OperationPeaceSpring” against Kurdish militias and the Daesh group 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.
“We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.”
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.
Neither Turkey nor the US has authorization from the Syrian government for their activities in the Arab country.