BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday the start of Ankara’s long-awaited military operation against the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria.
According to reports from Ras Al-Ayn in northern Syria, the Turkish army is pounding the positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces in a massive air and artillery attack on the region.
Erdogan said the offensive, dubbed “Operation Peace Spring”, would aim to eliminate threats from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the Islamic State militants, and enable the return of Syrian refugees in Turkey after the formation of a “safe zone” in the area.
Turkish air force bombers are conducting non-stop raids on the town and are expected to attack several other border areas in the coming hours.
A source in northern Syria said the Turkish Air Force has struck several areas along the Hasakah-Raqqa border, while their artillery pounds Ras Al-Ayn.