After the European countries questioned their military operations in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened on October 10 that Ankara will send all 3.6 million Syrian refugees who are presently in Turkey to Europe. He further said that they will open the gates and send the refugees away who seek asylum. The Turkey leader even tweeted his address to the press in Turkish and made it public. President Erdogan had announced on October 9 that the Turkish Armed Forces along with the Syrian National Army has launched the Operation Spring of Peace in northern Syria in order to clear out the “ISIS terrorist organizations”.
According to President Erdogan, the goal is to eliminate the “terrorist corridor”, the southern border of Turkey to re-establish peace and security. Moreover, this military operation after the American troops were dislocated from north-east Syria, will also help in eliminating the “threat of terrorism” directed at his country.
Reportedly, according to a US official, the airstrikes launched in Syria by Turkey are uncoordinated with the US military. These attacks are expected to be dangerous for the coalition forces along with the civilians. Moreover, Turkey has been amassing troops for several days during the preparation of the military operation to attack the Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria that Ankara addresses as a terrorist organization. A spokesperson for the US-backed and Kurdish-led force in Syria reportedly said that Turkish warplanes have even started targetting the civilian areas. The Syrian Democratic Forces member, Mustafa Bali has also said that the airstrikes have caused a panic among the people.
Turkey's UN Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu reportedly claimed in a letter that the operation will only be targetting terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacement, weapons vehicles, and equipment. He further wrote that all precautions are taken to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population. However, the Turkish bombardment in northeastern Syria has reportedly already killed almost 15 people out of which eight of them were civilians. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was concerned by developments in northeast Syria and claimed that any military operation must fully respect the UN Charter and international humanitarian law. He also said that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict while calling for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.
(with inputs from agencies)