In Pictures: Turkey’s military operation in northeast Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday the launch of “Operation Peace Spring” in northeastern Syria, saying it would target the ISIL group and the Syria-based Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers to be linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

According to the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are led by the YPG, there were initial reports of civilian casualties after Turkish jets started bombing SDF military positions and villages in Tal Abyad, Ras al-Ain, Qamishli and Ain Issa.

Ankara wants to create a so-called “safe zone” stretching 32km (20 miles) into bordering Syria’s northeastern region.

This is Turkey‘s third offensive in three years targeting Syrian-Kurdish militias, after Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 and Operation Olive Branch in 2018.

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