Turkish army launches push into Syria, air strikes hit border town

US President Donald Trump speaks about Turkey and Syria at the White House in Washington

US President Donald Trump speaks about Turkey and Syria at the White House in Washington

According to the press service of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), at least three Kurdish militia fighters and five civilians were killed, while dozens were injured in Turkish shelling of border areas in Syria.

On October 8, Turkey's Armed Forces announced that it's ready to fight against any terror groups posing treat to all Turkish citizens, with the understanding of "if we die we are martyrs, if we don't, we are war veterans".

Turkey has labeled its operation a "fountain of peace", arguing that it is "clearing" the border area of "terrorists" up to a depth of 30 km.

"I think Lindsey would like to stay there for the next 200 years, and maybe add a couple hundred thousand people every place", Trump said.

"All the shops around me are open, except that there are no people", Mohammed said in a telephone interview.

"The reason for (Turkey to say) that is to delegitimise these parties ... and to enter the Kurdistan region in order to target the Kurdish people's achievements", he said.

The artillery strikes, which also targeted YPG gun and sniper positions, were aimed at sites far from residential areas, the source said.

Meanwhile, a leading Republican senator, usually a vocal ally of Trump, said he plans to introduce a package of "devastating" sanctions to hit Turkey over its military operation, expressing concerns over the fate of Kurds in the area.

"Turkey is one of the countries most affected by DAESH's bloody activities and has fought against this terrorist organization both domestically and beyond its borders with increasing tempo and intensity", the ministry said in a tweet posted on its official twitter page. He expected Turkey to protect civilians and religious minorities and to prevent a humanitarian crisis, he said.

Istanbul sent more armored vehicles to the border with Syria, an AFP correspondent said, with a large convoy of dozens of vehicles seen in the Turkish town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned the offensive, saying it will "further destabilize the region and strengthen IS".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on Turkey to halt its military operation, warning that the EU will not be paying to help Ankara set up any safe zone there.

"We expect Turkey to abide by all of its commitments", Trump said.

"Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly", Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish government communications director tweeted from a verified account in the early hours of Wednesday morning from Istanbul.

Turkey views Kurdish YPG fighters in northeast Syria as terrorists due to their ties to militants waging an insurgency inside Turkey. "I will discuss this issue with [Turkish] President Erdogan Friday". Erdogan's office said he told Putin the military action "will contribute to the peace and stability" and allow for a political process in Syria.

In its call for mobilization, the local civilian Kurdish authority known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, also urged the global community to live up to its responsibilities as "a humanitarian catastrophe might befall our people" in the region.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said Tuesday that the Turkish Armed Forces is "the only coalition and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation army fighting the DAESH (ISIS) terrorist group in the Euphrates Shield Operation".

"With all of that being said, we like the Kurds".

Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned Turkey's plans, calling it a "blatant violation" of global law and vowing to repel an incursion. After gracelessly claiming that the Kurds "were paid massive amounts of money and equipment" to fight alongside the U.S., Trump thundered that "it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home".

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