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Turkey launches attack on Syrian Kurdish forces as US steps aside

Turkey has begun its assault in northern Syria, testing the defenses of the Syrian Kurdish forces and the limits of US tolerance for an operation that the Pentagon has fiercely opposed.
TOPSHOT - Smoke billows following Turkish bombardment on Syria's northeastern town of Ras al-Ain in the Hasakeh province along the Turkish border on October 9, 2019. - Turkey launched an assault on Kurdish forces in northern Syria with air strikes and explosions reported along the border. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the attack on Twitter, labelling it "Operation Peace Spring". (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP) (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Turkish Armed Forces launched a long heralded incursion against US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces in northern Syria today, upending a five-year status quo that saw the United States prioritize the campaign against the Islamic State over its relations with its NATO ally Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the news via Twitter, saying the operation, called “Springs of Peace,” was aimed “to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border.” The planned magnitude of the Turkish assault against the Syrian Kurdish Protection Units (YPG) operating under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) remains unknown.

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