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PACKAGE: Turkey Launches Operation In Syria With Air Strikes

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Turkish warplanes have bombed Kurdish positions at the start of an offensive in northeast Syria, as several large explosions were reported in the Syrian town of Ras al Ain, on the border with Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the offensive launched on October 9 had the aim to create a "safe zone" and targeted Kurdish militants and the Islamic State group in northern Syria. Turkey had long threatened an attack on the Kurdish fighters whom Ankara considers terrorists.

The Kurdish-led force holding northeast Syria said the air strikes killed two civilians and injured two others near Ras al Ain.

"We call on all the countries of the international bear their responsibility and prevent a possible, imminent humanitarian crisis," the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement.

The United Nations Security Council will meet behind closed-doors on October 9 to discuss the situation, diplomats said.

Turkey's offensive comes days after President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing U.S. forces from the area.

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