Turkey begins offensive against Kurdish fighters


October 9, 2019 - 10:40 AM

Turkish soldiers stand guard on the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria on Oct. 9, 2019 in Akcakale, Turkey. Military personnel and vehicles gathered near the border ahead of a campaign to extend Turkish control of more of northern Syria, a large swath of which is currently held by Syrian Kurds, whom Turkey regards as a threat. U.S. President Donald Trump granted tacit American approval to this military campaign, withdrawing his country's troops from several Syrian outposts near the Turkish border. (Burak Kara/Getty Images/TNS)

AKCAKALE, Turkey (AP) — Turkey launched a military operation today against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria after U.S. forces withdrew from the area, with activists reporting airstrikes on a town on Syria’s northern border.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the campaign, which followed an announcement Sunday by U.S. President Donald Trump that American troops would step aside in a shift in U.S. policy that essentially abandoned the Syrian Kurds. They were longtime U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

“Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area,” Erdogan said in a tweet.

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