Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed the beginning of the ground operation in Syria. Ankara said the goal is the creation of a security zone on the Turkish-Syrian border.
The politician promised that “anyone who provides military support to Kurdish forces in Afrin, including the United States, will be targeted by the Turkish armed forces.”
He also said that the operation will include four stages, as reported by NTV television channel. First, a 30-kilometer “safe zone” will be created. The operation will last “until all terrorists in the region – about 8-10 thousand – are killed.”
Yildirim said that Turkey had contacted Iran and Russia beforehand, and these countries did not object to the operation.
The Turkish military had begun Operation “Olive Branch” against the Kurdish formations, which Ankara considers to be involved in terrorism. About 1.5 million Syrian Kurds live in this region.
On Saturday, the Turkish Air Force inflicted air strikes on hundreds of targets. According to the Kurds, six civilians were killed.