ANKARA, October 9. /TASS/. The armed forces of Turkey on Wednesday crossed the border with Syria and launched the ground phase of its Peace Spring military operation east of the Euphrates River, Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense said.
"Our servicemen, along with the Syrian national army, launched a ground operation east of the Euphrates River as part of the ‘Peace Spring’ operation," the ministry said in a communique.
The Yeni Safak newspaper said the Turkish troops entered the Syrian territory at three locations.
Earlier, Turkey carried out airstrikes and shelling attacks at Kurdish-held positions in Syria’s north.
On Wednesday, Ankara launched a new military operation in northern Syria dubbed Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on positions of Kurdish units. The objective is to create a buffer zone in northern Syria where up to 3 million Syrians refugees could return, Ankara believes. Syria’s SANA news agency branded the operation as aggression. Following these developments, France, Germany, the UK, Belgium and Poland called for a UN Security Council closed-door meeting on Syria, which will be held on Thursday.
Ankara has carried out two military operations in Syria so far, Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch. As a result, a security zone was established between the border cities of Azaz and Jarabulus, while the city of Afrin was occupied.