Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday that Turkey has launched a military operation against Kurds in northern Syria. The move has been expected since President Trump’s surprise decision to pull U.S. forces out of the region.
Erdogan wrote on Twitter, according to the translation feature on the social media site:
“Turkish Armed Forces together with the Syrian National Army against PKK / YPG and Deash terrorist organizations in northern Syria #BarışPınarıHarekatı has started. Our aim is to destroy the terror corridor which is trying to be established on our southern border and to bring peace and peace to the region.”
A spokesman for the Kurdish forces tweeted that Turkey is carrying out airstrikes on civilian areas:
As of 4:30 EST, Turkey has announced that its ground forces invaded northeastern Syria to fight against Kurdish forces just hours after launching the initial assault. A number of civilians have reportedly been killed.
🔦 Trump is facing stiff criticism — even from within his own party — for his decision to pull troops out of northeast Syria, which has been seen by many as an act of betrayal against the U.S.-allied Kurds who helped America defeat ISIS in the region.
After the invasion began Wednesday, staunch Trump ally Lindsey Graham called the president’s move “shameless”: