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Turkey launches assault on Syrian Kurds

Turkey launched an assault on Kurdish positions in northern Syria on Wednesday with air strikes and explosions reported near the border.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the attack on Twitter, labelling it “Operation Peace Spring”.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported that Turkish air strikes had hit the Ras al-Ain area.

Meanwhile, Syria’s Kurds called up civilians to defend against the assault, while President Donald Trump insisted the United States had not abandoned its Kurdish allies who were a crucial ally against IS.

Trump was widely seen as giving a green light at the weekend, ordering the pullback of US troops from the Turkey-Syrian border which had served as a buffer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Erdogan to think carefully before any offensive in a phone call. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council’s president, has appealed to Turkey to “protect civilians” and exercise “maximum restraint” in its military operations in Syria.

The UNSC chief expressed hope the council could meet quickly on the situation but stressed it was up to drafters of resolutions on Syria to convene such a session.

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