Turkish jets launched a barrage of airstrikes against Kurdish fighters in Syria yesterday, as the country’s president announced the start of a long-threatened offensive. As the first bombs hit their
targets, Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was aimed at destroying a “terror corridor” across his country’s southern border. The bombings sent people fleeing from villages and towns in the region, amid claims of civilian casualties. Donald Trump unexpectedly gave Turkey the green light to launch a military offensive
against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) after he ordered the withdrawal of US troops from the border area on Sunday. The SDF received US arms, as well as air and ground support, in the battle to defeat Isis and lost thousands of fighters. Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw was a “stab in the back”, said a spokesperson for the SDF.