Turkish troops along with the Syrian National Army have begun Operation Peace Spring against the PKK/YPG and ISIL terrorists in northern Syria, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Oct. 9.
“Our Turkish Armed Forces with Syrian National Army has started the #OperationPeaceSpring against the PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorist organizations, in northern Syria. Our aim is to wipe out the terror corridor, trying to be implemented in our southern border, and bring peace and security to the region,” Erdoğan said in a tweet.
“With Operation Peace Spring, we will eliminate the terror threats towards our country. With the SAFE ZONE we will establish, we will provide the return of Syrian refugees to their countries. We will protect the territorial integrity of Syria and save the region’s people from the claws of terror,” Erdoğan added.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Operation Peace Spring is being carried out under international law, the U.N. Charter and U.N. Security Council resolutions on the fight against terrorism.
Turkey informed members of the U.N. Security Council members about the Operation Peace Spring.
The United States, the Russian Federation, England, Germany, France and Italy, NATO and the United Nations secretary general were informed about the Peace Spring Operation as of 2 p.m. local time, the Defense Ministry said in a tweet.
The ministry said the operation was launched "to provide security for our borders and prevent the formation of a terror corridor, to neutralize the terrorists and terrorist organizations that pose a threat to our national security, especially the Daesh and PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG, and to provide proper conditions for the displaced Syrians’ return.”
Erdoğan also called leaders of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and oppositional IYI (Good) Party by phone and informed them about the operation.
"Turkey has suffered horrendous terrorist attacks, and it hosts millions of Syrian refugees," said Jens Stoltenberg after his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Stoltenberg said Turkish authorities informed NATO about the ongoing operation in northern Syria.
"It is important to avoid actions that may further destabilize the region, escalate tensions and cause more human suffering," said Stoltenberg.
"#NATO has been informed by Turkish authorities about their ongoing operation in Northern Syria. I count on Turkey to act with restraint & ensure that the gains we have made in the fight against ISIS are not jeopardised. I will discuss this issue with President Erdoğan Friday," Stoltenberg said over Twitter.
The Syrian Democratic Forces warned of a “possible humanitarian catastrophe” because of the Turkish incursion. The Kurdish-led administration that governs the area issued a call for “general mobilization” to fight the Turks.
“We call upon our people, of all ethnic groups, to move toward areas close to the border with Turkey to carry out acts of resistance during this sensitive historical time,” it said.
The officials said the United States was not providing support to Turkey either, but for the last few weeks, as Turkish military officials planned the assault, they received American surveillance video and information from reconnaissance aircraft. The information may have helped them track Kurdish positions.
Because of an American counterterrorism partnership with Turkey, Turkish aircraft were given access to a suite of American battlefield intelligence in northeast Syria. Turkey was removed from the intelligence-sharing program only on Monday, a Defense Department official said.
One official said that United States warplanes and surveillance aircraft remained in the area to defend the remaining American ground forces in northeast Syria, but said they would not contest Turkish warplanes attacking Kurdish positions.
The commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazlum Kobani, told that a fight with Turkey could pull his forces out of areas where the Islamic State remains a threat, opening a void that could be exploited by others in Syria’s multiring civil war.
The night before the operation, Senator Graham warned Turkey not to proceed.
“To the Turkish Government: You do NOT have a green light to enter into northern Syria,” he wrote. “There is massive bipartisan opposition in Congress, which you should see as a red line you should not cross.”