Turkey starts large-scale military operation in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to indirectly confirm reports that the Turkish military fired artillery shells at YPG positions in northern Syria on Sunday

Turkish and USA armed forces carry out joint patrols in Syria's Manbij on November 1, 2018.

His remarks came a day after the Turkish forces shelled positions of the Kurdish militia in northern Syria.

Turkish forces this week struck several Kurdish militia targets near the town of Kobani in northern Syria.

On Wednesday, the SDF said the Turkish attacks had forced it to suspend its US-backed campaign against IS near the Iraqi border.

Over the past two years, Turkish forces have already swept into Syria to push YPG fighters out of territory west of the Euphrates in two separate military campaigns.

"As a result of the infrastructure work and security and stability in the region provided by the Turkish Armed Forces, around 260,000 Syrian nationals have returned to the Euphrates Shield Operation area", Akar said in a speech. We will soon be rolling over the terrorist organization with effective operations.

During the conversation, issues of the bilateral agenda, developments in Syria and settlement of issues in Manbij and Idlib were raised, said the source.

Mr Palladino said the USA was fully committed to Turkey's border security but at the same time expressed Washington's commitment to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian forces. Most of the Kurdish-controlled territory lies east of the Euphrates.

Turkey has long considered the Kurdish-led YPG to be a major threat to Turkey, due to the group's ideological ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a leftist Kurdish political and paramilitary group that is designated as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government.

Syria's Foreign Ministry is complaining to the United Nations about airstrikes carried out by the US -led coalition against the Islamic State group citing new mass graves discovered.

There are United States forces in the Sunni Arab-majority Manbij - which lies just 30 kilometres south of the Turkish border - and Washington has been closely working with the YPG in the fight against IS.

"Unilateral military strikes into northwest Syria by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us", State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters on Wednesday.

The Pentagon has said the objective of the patrols is to support "long-term security in Manbij" and uphold its commitments to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey. The continuation of Turkish attacks, the group said, would further delay the offensive on the ISIS-held pocket of Hajin.

The patrol took place around the Sajur River that divides Manbij and the region of Jarabulus, which was captured by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels from the Islamic State group in 2016 during Ankara's first offensive in northern Syria.

The Manbij Military Council that administers the town says the last Kurdish fighters left Manbij in July.

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