Turkey’s prime minister says ground troops have crossed into the Syrian enclave of Afrin as part of an operation against Syrian Kurdish armed group YPG.
In a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday, Binali Yildirim said Turkish forces crossed into the YPG-controlled region in Syria at 08:05 GMT from the Turkish village of Gulbaba.
He said Turkey plans to establish a 30km “safe zone” in Afrin.
Turkey considers Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the YPG, “terrorist groups” with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long fight inside Turkey.
It fears the establishment of a Kurdish corridor along its border.
Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that the Turkish forces were backed by armoured vehicles, special forces and infantry regiments.
They have reportedly advanced 5km inside Afrin.