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Turkey launches military strike on Kurdish positions

Following the US withdrawal from the region, Turkey has launched airstrikes and fire artillery at Kurdish armed forces positioned around the border of Ras al Ain, in the Kurdish regions of northern Syria on Wednesday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, has defended his actions claiming he intended to eliminate “a “terror corridor” on Turkey’s southern border.

The attacks were launched against the Kurdish YPG militia which Turkey has accused of being an off-shoot of the  Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PPK), a Kurdish organisation fighting for autonomy.

Prior to the attack, Kurdish-led authorities declared a state of “general mobilisation”, stating: 

“We call on all our institutions, and our people in all their components, to head towards the border region with Turkey to fulfill their moral duty and show resistance in these sensitive, historic moments,”

The decision to by the US President to withdraw support has been met with wide criticism, including from senior officials in his own party and US allies.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, warned that it will destabilise the region and risk a resurgence of the Islamic State. 

“Turkey is risking a further detribalization of the region and a reinvigoration of Islamic State […] The Turkish offensive could lead to a new humanitarian disaster as well as new refugee flows […] We urge Turkey to end its operation and to pursue its security interests in a peaceful way.”

Read more here and here.