Mortar shells hit Turkish border town, no casualties

Protesters gathered outside Sydney's Town Hall

Erdogan will visit the United States on Nov.13 at Trump's invitation, a White House spokesman said.

He said no American forces are in the area.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights reported that people had begun fleeing the border town of Tal Abyad.

The US has about 1,000 troops in Syria and about 5,200 in neighboring Iraq.

The official adds that they believe the offensive will both spread and intensify overnight into Thursday, likely encompassing the entire border.

Mr. Erdoğan has spoken of plans to build towns, villages, hospitals, and schools but also says Turkey, which has already spent some $40 billion on the refugees, can not afford to do it alone. And he said Turkey has also promised to hold the line on ISIS.

"Will lead effort in Congress to make Erdogan pay a heavy price", the senior Republican tweeted, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Turkey is rightfully anxious about its southern borders".

For the SDF alliance, in which the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia is the dominant force, much will depend on whether the United States continues to keep forces in other parts of the northeast and east.

"While the Administration refuses to act against Turkey, I expect strong bipartisan support", Graham said in a statement.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have spent years expanding its control across northern and eastern Syria, helped by the US -led coalition against Islamic State.

"Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area", Erdogan wrote, adding that the operation would target Kurdish militants and the Islamic State group (IS).

At least one member of the Kurdish-led force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces was killed in the Turkish bombardment, Kurdish activists and a Syria war monitor said.

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Speaking in a news conference in Algeria, Cavusoglu said the operation will be carried out in accordance with global law and that Turkey will only target militants in the region.

It is to be noted that the Kurds are an important ally of the USA in defeating Islamic State (IS) in Syria and they are still guarding several IS fighters who are now behind bars in areas under their control.

Experts are dubious on how Turkey would manage such a messy problem while trying to fight the YPG and also establish a planned safe zone east of the Euphrates river to deliver its ambitious plans of repatriating a sizable portion of the 3.6 millions Syrian refugees that it now hosts.

"Erdogan's subsequent tweet read, "#OperationPeaceSpring will neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.

Turkey's campaign - in which a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member rained down bombs on an area where hundreds of USA troops had been stationed - drew immediate criticism and calls for restraint from Europe.

Turkey is likely to pound the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with artillery fire and airstrikes before beginning a ground incursion.

The situation is complicated because the YPG forces manage the prisons where thousands of former armed jihadists are held without any solution to the problem.

Brett McGurk, who was Trump's special envoy for the fight against ISIS, also decried the decision in an interview with NPR. Erdoğan called the attack "Operation Peace Spring". "This is nearly unprecedented".

The Syrian government, as well as its close allies Iran and Russian Federation, are happy about the US' decision to withdraw from the north, but have expressed concern about the violation of Syria's sovereignty by Turkey.

Military cargo planes also intermittently land at the base. Trump said at the time that the Kurds "fought with us" and "died with us", and insisted that America would never forget. "Civilians wishing to flee the fighting must be given safe passage to do so".

"I told Turkey if they do anything outside of what we think is humane. they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy", the Trump said.

As a further sign that the military does not share Trump's view that the fight against the extremists is over, a press release Wednesday by the USA -led military coalition combating IS highlighted recent battlefield gains.

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