Civilians flee as Turkish warplanes, artillery begin Syria offensive

A Turkish military truck patrols next to a Turkish flag hoisted at the border with Syria on Aug14 2019 in Akcakale Turkey

Trump hails his own 'great and unmatched wisdom' in warning to Turkey

The Kurds also said that they want the USA -led coalition to set up a no-fly zone in northeast Syria to protect the civilian population from Turkish airstrikes. "Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area", Erdogan tweeted. "We haven't done so in Jarablus when we fought against Daesh and eliminated 3,000 terrorists there...or when we entered Afrin, we have not occupied any part of Syria, we have returned those places to the local owners and residents, we have no intention of occupying any parts of Syria in the east of the Euphrates either, and also we have no interest in changing the demographics there". Turkey has the largest refugee population in the world and the presence of Syrians in the country has increasingly led to animosity from Turks who blame them for crime, unemployment and the dilution of Turkish culture.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the US has not "abandoned" its Kurdish allies inside Syria, continuing to give a mixed message to Turkey.

Traders told Reuters that Turkish state banks had been selling dollars over the last three days to stop the lira from sliding beyond 5.85, a level it approached but did not breach this week until President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the incursion.

Meanwhile, in parts of the U.S. government, anger continued to fester against Turkey for the planned attack after the extensive preparations made to set up a security mechanism to placate Ankara's suspicion of Kurdish units.

Another senior administration official who spoke to reporters on Monday said Turkey "would bear full responsibility" if the Islamic State (IS) reconstitutes in the wake of the crisis, but did not make clear how the United States planned to hold Ankara responsible for maintaining overcrowded detention facilities now under Kurdish control, including Al-Hol.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Iraqi Kurdish leaders he met earlier this week had voiced deep concern about the risks of the mixed signals from Trump.

S&P Global Ratings said the military deployment raised risks for the lira and Turkey's balance of payments, which has improved markedly since a currency crisis previous year tipped its economy into recession.

"Turkey is conducting an operation with the sole aim of achieving peace".

He said that "such reckless attitude to this highly sensitive subject can set fire to the entire region, and we have to avoid it at any cost".

Şentop also said: "Turkey has used all means of solution and negotiation against the threat of terror, but the terror groups formed in the south of Turkey have continued with their activities".

"The sole goal of the commenced operation is to eliminate the threat of terror against Turkey", he added.

Addressing some of these criticisms, Trump said in his statement that Turkey had promised to protect civilians and religious minorities. "Without close air support and ISR this could be a much bloodied fight for Turkey and it's proxies".

Trump's decision effectively provides Turkish troops with a green light to attack US-backed Kurdish forces, though Trump threatened to punish Turkey economically if it does "anything outside of what we think is humane".

The other reason for the operation is a desire to expel Syrian refugees from Turkey and resettle them in a "safe zone" it plans to create in northern Syria.

What does Turkey want in northern Syria?

Turkey considers the YPG an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has fought for Kurdish independence in Turkey for decades.

He argued the foray is in line with Turkey's right to defend itself.

"They know the Turkish campaign has begun", the woman said. "All indications, field information and military assembly on the Turkish side of the border indicate that our border areas will be attacked by Turkey".

The Turkish Defense Ministry said Tuesday that the Turkish Armed Forces is "the only coalition and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation army fighting the DAESH (ISIS) terrorist group in the Euphrates Shield Operation". He initially had hoped to do it in collaboration with the United States but grew frustrated with what he considered to be delaying tactics by the U.S.

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