Turkish offensive in Syria progresses, Erdogan threatens EU


The offensive began less than three days after Donald Trump's decision to redeploy some of the 1,000 US troops on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Our heroic commandos participating in Operation Spring of Peace continue to advance east of the Euphrates, welcomed on Twitter the Turkish Ministry of Defense, video in support. We see soldiers advancing with their arms in the darkness.

Turkish troops crossed the Syrian border in four points, according to the press. Two are in the vicinity of Tel Abyad and two are close to Ras al-Ain, further east. According to the BBC, Turkish forces are intensifying their air and ground strikes on the second day of the operation.

Turkey, a member of NATO, wants to create a security zone in the border region to remove Kurdish militiamen and to transfer several million Syrian refugees to its territory, but the major powers fear that the operation will restart the conflict.

They also fear that it will allow jihadists taken prisoner by Kurdish rebels, who played a decisive role in the fighting against the Islamic State (IS) armed group, to escape and resume their guerrilla warfare or even return to their homes. country of origin, for foreigners.

Turkish forces bombed the environs of Ras al-Ain on Thursday morning. Rebels of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-dominated movement of People's Protection Units (YPGs), fought back, a witness said.

A spokesman for the FDS ensures on Twitter that the offensive was pushed back to Tel Abyad. Kurds say five civilians and three fighters have been killed. Several thousand people also fled Ras al-Ain to the province of Hassaké, held by the rebel movement.

A Kamichli prison, where many IS members of about 60 nationalities are held, has been affected, the SDS said.

These prison attacks harboring Daesh terrorists will lead to a disaster that the world may not be able to cope with in the future.

Extract from a Syrian Democratic Forces communiqué

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, 181 targets of the Kurdish militia have been affected by aviation and artillery since the beginning of the offensive. Ankara regards the YPG as a terrorist organization because of its links with the Turkish separatists of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

A child with a worried face is seen through the window of a car.

A child in a vehicle with personal belongings while he and his family flee Tel Abyad on Wednesday.

Photo: Reuters

Erdogan threatens Europe with a flow of migrants

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also threatened on Thursday to open the doors of Europe to millions of refugees in response to European criticism of the offensive.

O European Union, resume. I say it again, if you try to present our operation as an invasion, we will open the doors and send you 3.6 million migrantssaid Erdogan during a speech in Ankara.

Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees on its soil. The flow of migrants from Turkey to Europe has dried up considerably thanks to an agreement reached in 2016 between Ankara and the EU.

European countries have strongly criticized the operation launched by Turkey on Wednesday. This military incursion on Syrian soil must also be the subject of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Thursday. An extraordinary meeting of the Arab League, which condemned the offensive, is also scheduled for Saturday.

You have never been sincere. Now they say they will block three billion euros (promised to Turkey under the migration agreement). Have you never respected a promise made to us? No, hammered Mr. Erdogan again. With God's help, we will continue our journey, but we will open the doors to migrants.

Moscow wants talks

Russia, meanwhile, said Thursday it wants talks between the Syrian regime and Turkey.

We will now defend the need to establish a dialogue between Turkey and SyriaRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in statements issued by his ministry on the sidelines of a visit to Turkmenistan.

He also said that Moscow, which militarily and politically supports the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, would also seek to establish contacts between Damascus and Kurdish organizations.

Mr. Lavrov also said understand Turkey's concern about the security of its borders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had called on Wednesday Turkey to think carefully before this offensive.

And for once, Israel and Iran agree: the Turkish offensive must stop. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned vigorously Thursday the invasion Turkish forces and warned of a potential ethnic cleansing Kurds in this area. Israel is ready to provide a humanitarian aid to the Kurds, he added.

Iran has called for an immediate cessation of the offensive, Thursday. The Islamic Republic, while expressing concern about the humanitarian consequences of this operation, stressed the need for an immediate cessation of attacks and a withdrawal of Turkish military units deployed on the territory of Syria, said a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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