Turkey will launch Syria ground operation after strikes – Erdogan

Turkey has said it is planning a ground operation against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), after four days of strikes in Syria and Iraq.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that the strikes – which his defence minister claimed had “neutralised” 254 terrorists – were “only the beginning”.

Turkey has blamed Kurdish groups for a recent deadly bomb attack in Istanbul.

The YPG has denied involvement and said the strikes in north-east Syria have killed 30 civilians and 11 fighters.

The US defence department said the Turkish attacks had “directly threatened the safety of US personnel” working in Syria to defeat jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed militia alliance dominated by the YPG, has accused Turkey of using the Istanbul bombing as a pretext to launch a long-planned cross-border offensive.

The Turkish military has launched three large-scale operations with allied Syrian rebel groups in northern Syria since 2016 and…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk