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Turkey begins an offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria

Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Fahrettin Altun, a communications director with the Turkish government, said on Wednesday that Turkish troops alongside Syrian rebels would "cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly."

"YPG militants have two options: They can defect or we will have (to) stop them from disrupting our counter-ISIS efforts," tweeted Altun, referring to the Kurdish force by its acronym, and employing an alternative acronym for Islamic State.

Turkey has said it wants to push back the Kurds from a 20-mile corridor of territory stretching along the border with Syria. Once it establishes this so-called safe zone, it wants to ramp up humanitarian reconstruction and resettle there the millions of Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.

Despite Turkey's assurances, aid groups expect any incursion to cause massive disruption. The International Rescue Committee said on Monday that as many as 300,000 people could be displaced from their homes.

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