Turkish military has launched a military incursion into northern Syria on October 9.
According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the military campaign is aimed at preventing the creation of “a terror corridor” across Turkey’s southern border. This was what Erdogan tweeted during start of the campaign.
Turkey had previously made its intention clear about creating a buffer zone along its border, reaching at least 30 kilometers deep into Syria.
Syrian Kurdish militia group, named People’s Protection Units (YPG), currently controls most of the Syrian territory along the Syria-Turkey border. It is widely believed that the U.S. could not have defeated the ISIS without the YPG’s instrumental role in defeating the militant group.
Turkey views YPG from a different lens. Turkey does not differentiates the YPG and its political arm, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which, for Turkey, is a terrorist organization.
Although the U.S. and the European Union recognizes the PKK as terrorist organization, they see YPG and PKK differently.
It is worth noting here that the PKK has long been seeking greater autonomy for Turkey’s Kurdish region.
Mustafa Bali, spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Syrian coalition that includes the YPG, tweeted that Turkish warplanes had targeted civilian areas.
European countries and global organizations are considering what measure could be taken in response to the Turkish military campaign, and one of the responses could include sanctions on Turkey until its forces are withdrawn.
Turkey’s move was also condemned by the Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq. On October 12, a meeting could take place among the the Arab League members about the Turkish military campaign.
Update (October 11, 2019): According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an aid organisation, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, around 64,000 had already fled their homes.