UN to hold emergency meeting on Turkey military offensive
The closed door meeting, set for late Thursday morning, was requested by European members Belgium, France, Germany and Britain, they said.
Turkish warplanes earlier carried out airstrikes on the Kurdish-held city of Ras al-Ayn in northeastern Syria, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan formally announced the start of operations against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Erdogan said that the operation was called "Operation Peace Spring".
"Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area," he said.
Mustafa Bali, a spokesperson for the SDF, confirmed the airstrikes, saying that there was "huge panic" among local people.
Senator Lindsey Graham vowed Wednesday that Congress will inflict a cost on Turkey for its offensive against Syria's Kurds as the usually loyal ally of President Donald Trump sharply criticised US policy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called Erdogan on Wednesday morning, reported government-linked broadcaster RT, telling him to "assess the situation carefully" so that "peace efforts" in Syria would not be harmed.
Russia intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2015 on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. Human rights groups have accused Russian forces of indiscriminately bombing civilian areas, targeting hospitals, and killing thousands of people.
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