Turkish forces attempt ground incursion into Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-10 16:40:14|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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DAMASCUS, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish forces attempted on Thursday a ground incursion into Kurdish-held areas in Raqqa Province in northern Syria, state-run SANA news agency reported.

The Turkish forces are trying to storm the towns of Yabseh, Munbateh, al-Hawiyeh and Beir Asheq near the Tal Abyad area in the northern countryside of Raqqa, said SANA.

Turkish warplanes struck positions of the Kurdish forces in the Ras al-Ayn area in the countryside of Hasakah Province in northeastern Syria, it added.

Meanwhile, the media center of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the SDF confronted the Turkish army near Tal Abyad in Raqqa, noting the Turkish incursion was coupled with "random shelling."

A day earlier, Turkey announced the beginning of its long-threatened military campaign in northern Syria to eliminate the Kurdish forces of the SDF and its umbrella of the People's Protection Units (YPG), which are both deemed by Ankara as separatists and terrorists.

The Turkish operation started after the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from certain areas in northern Syria, which was seen as a sign of abandoning the Kurdish forces as they have been Washington's allies on the ground in Syria.

The Syrian government condemned the Turkish operation as a blatant violation of international law and the UN charters pertaining to respecting the sovereignty of Syria.

The Saudi-funded Al Arabiya TV said the Turkish artillery had hit 181 Kurdish targets in the eastern Euphrates region since the beginning of the military operation on Wednesday while the pro-rebel Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20 people were killed or wounded in the Turkish shelling.