Turkish and Syrian National Army (SNA) forces on Monday began the next phase of Operation Peace Spring to clear Manbij of terrorists.
The SNA announced the start of the operation after receiving the green light from Turkey. Turkish tanks and SNA troops began moving toward Manbij. Clashes could be heard in the area.
Turkish forces' next aim in Operation Peace Spring is to clear Ayn al-Arab and Manbij, east of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn, which were cleared of terrorists. Turkish troops began preparing last night for the offensive against Manbij.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the YPG, on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.