Turkey starts ground incursion into Kurdish-controlled Afrin in Syria


Turkey said it had begun a ground incursion into the Kurdish enclave in Syria known as Afrin a day after intense aerial bombardment that signalled the opening of hostilities in a new phase of Ankara’s involvement in the war across the border.

The launch of the ground campaign by the Turkish military on Sunday, alongside Syrian rebel factions under Ankara’s tutelage, came on the second day of a military offensive called “Operation Olive Branch” by the Turkish government, with dozens of airstrikes hitting more than 150 targets in the Kurdish-dominated district from late on Saturday afternoon. Kurdish militias shelled the Turkish province of Kilis across the border in response. One person was killed and 32 wounded after a missile from Syria struck the Turkish bordertown of Reyhanli.

A spokesman for the Kurdish militias that control the Afrin enclave said they had blocked the Turkish army-led initial attempt at a ground incursion on Sunday morning. “The Turkish army and its Syrian agent factions have not entered one inch of Afrin district inside Syria,” the spokesman claimed.(theguardian)…[+]