Turkey Says Its Forces Pushing Deeper into Northeast Syria

Turkey Says Its Forces Pushing Deeper into Northeast Syria

Worldwide aid agencies say that hundreds of thousands of people, who have already endured eight years of a protracted conflict, could be at risk as Turkey launches air and ground strikes to clear US-allied Kurdish forces from its border areas.

And the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkish commandos entered the village of Beir Asheq.

Ankara's operation against Kurdish-led militias in northeastern Syria has been criticized across Europe and the Middle East, as one country after another sounded the alarm over the impact to the Syrian peace process.

The SDF said they held off an incursion attempt near the border town of Ras al-Ain and repulsed a ground assault on Tal Abyad.

Australia is anxious Turkey's military incursion in northern Syria could galvanize a resurgence of the Islamic State group, and has refused to endorse the close ally US for pulling back its troops from the area.

"Canada firmly condemns Turkey's military incursion into Syria today", Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Twitter.

And the Arab League, consisting of 22 states, is to hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on October 12 to discuss Turkey's assault.

Youssef Hammoud, a spokesman for the SNA, told pro-opposition media in Syria that rebel fighters have been positioned for days near Syrian towns that the Turkish military intends to capture in its ongoing offensive.

Syrian government allies Russian Federation and Iran both called for an end to the offensive. This action imperils American security and that of our allies.

Syrian Kurdish forces lost 11,000 personnel and played a key role in the years-long battle to eliminate the "caliphate" the Islamic State group had set up in the region.

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In the meantime Iran, an in depth ally of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime, referred to as Thursday for "an immediate halt" to the offensive and demanded Turkish forces withdraw.

The Syrian conflict began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011 and has since killed more than 400,000 people and displaced millions.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, usually a vocal Trump ally, has criticized his decision to withdraw USA troops from northeastern Syria and unveiled a framework for sanctions on Turkey with Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen.

Israeli officials indicated that Israel was willing to render any non-military aid the Kurds might need, though they would not be more specific.

As of last month, the US military estimated it was about halfway toward that goal.

Their proposed sanctions would target the assets of senior officials including Erdogan, mandate sanctions over Turkey's purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system and impose visa restrictions. "The situation can trigger new refugee flows and harm the fight against IS (Islamic State group) and harm the stability in the region", he said.

In the attack that started on Wednesday, Turkey is advancing in the northern part of Syria, east of the Euphrates, a territory now in the hands of the Syrian Kurdish YPG.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington of playing "very unsafe games" with the Syrian Kurds, saying the USA first propped up the Kurdish "quasi state" in Syria and is now withdrawing support.

The minister said Turkey would take control of Islamic State prisons situated within the intended safe zone, but not those that lie farther south.

Turkey views the YPG, the main fighting force within SDF, as a terrorist group that has ties with the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Turkey, U.S. and European Union designated terror group.

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