Written by Reuters
15 Oct, 2019 | 3:50 pm
Reuters – Heavy explosions and thick plumes of smoke rose from Syria’s border town of Ras al Ain on Tuesday (October 15) as Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria entered its second week.
President Tayyip Erdogan says the campaign aimed to create a safe zone within Syria for which to resettle some 3.6 million refugees it hosts as well defeat the Kurdish YPG militia which it views as a terrorist group because of its links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey.
The offensive began when U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw U.S. troops that have been deployed in Syria to help the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces alliance fight Islamic State.
The decision prompted the Kurds, once a Washington ally and a foe of the Syrian government, to invite government troops to deploy in the area to fill the void left by U.S. troops and fend off the Turkish attack.
Syrian government forces quickly deployed into the area giving them a foothold in the biggest remaining swathe of the country that had been beyond their grasp.
They will now face Turkish armed forces along a new front line hundreds of miles long.
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