Turkey launches military offensive in Syria

By Fernando Alfonso III and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

Updated 9:19 p.m. ET, October 10, 2019
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12:49 p.m. ET, October 10, 2019

More than 60,000 people displaced in northeastern Syria

From CNN's Ram Ramgopal and Mohammed Tawfeeq

More than 60,000 people have been displaced in camps in northeastern Syria following the start of Turkey's military offensive, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC)

"In the last 24 hours it's reported that more than 64,000 people fled their homes in northeast Syria. If the offensive continues it's possible a total of 300,000 people could be displaced to already overstretched camps and towns still recovering from the fight against ISIS," said Misty Buswell, IRC's communications director for the Middle East.

The IRC is on the ground and continuing to work to provide humanitarian aid. 

The following video features CNN's Clarissa Ward on the ground in Northern Syria answering questions about the Turkish military offensive:

12:23 p.m. ET, October 10, 2019

Macron say Turkish offensive risks recreating ISIS caliphate

From Samuel Quashie-Idun and Schams Elwazer

French President Emmanuel Macron called on Turkey to end its offensive in northeast Syria and said the operation “risks helping [ISIS] rebuild its caliphate,” CNN affiliate BFM reported.

Speaking Thursday in Lyon, Macron said “I strongly condemn the unilateral military offensive in Syria and I call on Turkey to end it as quickly as possible.”

“This risks helping [ISIS] rebuild its caliphate, and this is a responsibility that Turkey will hold,” he added.

11:08 a.m. ET, October 10, 2019

Syrian National Army says 13 rival Kurdish fighters killed in Turkish military offensive

From CNN's Eyad Kourdi

Thirteen rival Kurdish fighters have been killed in Turkey's military offensive in Syria, according to a statement from Major Yosef Hamoud, a spokesman for the Syrian National Army, a Turkey-backed rebel group. 

"The forces of the National Army managed to liberate the village of Kashto Tahtani in the western side of Ras al-Ain city, also we managed to liberate Beer Ashek and Hamida villages in Tal Abyad countryside," Hamoud said in a statement. 

"Until now 13 members of PYD/PKK have been killed in 'Peace Spring Operation,' " the spokesman said.

The PKK refers to the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party, a designated terrorist group in Turkey and the US. The PYD refers to the Kurdish opposition party known as the Democratic Union Party. Turkey considers the PYD to be a branch of the PKK.

11:05 a.m. ET, October 10, 2019

Dismay among US military over Syria decision

From CNN's Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne

CNN has spoken to several US military officers who have expressed dismay at President Trump's decision to reposition a small number of troops from northern Syria, believing it effectively gave the green light to the Turkish action. None would go on the record because of the sensitivity of speaking publicly.

Some of those expressing dismay are inside the ranks of special operations forces who have worked for years with the Syrian Democratic Forces and feel loyalty to stay in place and help them. 

Several officials also say for now the White House wants to be control of the messaging on this, which is why the Pentagon has not spoken publicly.

A senior US defense official told CNN on Wednesday that Turkey's offensive into Syria “has already had a detrimental effect on our counter-ISIS operations; they have effectively stopped."  

The Turkish operation "has challenged our ability to build local security forces, conduct stabilization operations and the Syrian Democratic Forces (ability) to guard over 11,000 dangerous ISIS fighters. We are just watching the second largest Army in NATO attack one of our best counter-terrorism partners,” the source said.

10:50 a.m. ET, October 10, 2019

India says Turkey's military offensive could undermine fight against terror

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi

A picture taken in Akcakale at the Turkish border with Syria on Thursday shows smokes rising from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad.
A picture taken in Akcakale at the Turkish border with Syria on Thursday shows smokes rising from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad. BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

India has joined a growing number of countries criticizing Turkey's military operation in northern Syria, according to a statement released Thursday.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs said "Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism."

The statement added: "Its action also has the potential for causing humanitarian and civilian distress. We call upon Turkey to exercise restraint and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria."

10:48 a.m. ET, October 10, 2019

Turkish officials blame Kurdish fighters for mortar attacks

From CNN’s Murat Baykara on the Turkish-Syrian border, and journalist Yusuf Gezer in Istanbul, Turkey

The Turkish border towns of Akcakale and Ceylanpinar were hit by several mortar rounds, killing two people and injured 46 others, according to a statement released by the governor's office in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa.

“As a result of mortar and rocket shells hitting Akcakale and Ceylanpinar, 9-month-old Syrian Muhammed Omar and an officer working for Tax Office, 46-year-old Cihan Gunes has been martyred,” the statement said.

Officials earlier told CNN said that several mortar rounds landed in the garden between the governor’s office and the riot police headquarters in Akcakale.

10:21 a.m. ET, October 10, 2019

Turkish operation will "impact security" in Iraq

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq 

Syrian Arab and Kurdish civilians arrive at Tall Tamr town, in the Syrian northwestern Hasakeh province, after fleeing Turkish bombardment on the northeastern town along the Turkish-Syria border on Thursday.
Syrian Arab and Kurdish civilians arrive at Tall Tamr town, in the Syrian northwestern Hasakeh province, after fleeing Turkish bombardment on the northeastern town along the Turkish-Syria border on Thursday. DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Iraqi government has expressed concern over the current situation in northern Syria, saying that the Turkish military operation will complicate the situation in Syria and “directly impact security in Iraq,” according to a statement released by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

Iraq also warned that a large number of militants and displaced people could enter Iraq from Syria following the Turkish military operation there.

10:10 a.m. ET, October 10, 2019

Netanyahu: “Israel strongly condemns Turkish invasion of Kurdish areas in Syria”

From CNN’s Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken out sharply against Turkey’s ongoing military operation in Syria, and said Israel stands ready to give humanitarian aid to the “gallant Kurdish people.”

“Israel strongly condemns the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria and warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds by Turkey and its proxies,” Netanyahu said, speaking on the issue for the first time since US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw US forces from Syria.

The Israeli premier, who is one of the few world leaders to openly call for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state, did not specify how Israel would provide humanitarian aid. Israel has no diplomatic relations with Iraq or Syria, while relations with Turkey have been strained for several years. 

In breaking his silence, Netanyahu made no specific mention of Trump, a close ally of the Israeli PM.

9:41 a.m. ET, October 10, 2019

UK Foreign Secretary calls for restraint amid Turkish military operation in northern Syria

From CNN's Sarah Dean

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Thursday that he had spoken to his Turkish equivalent, Mevlut Cavusoglu, of the UK's disappointment over Turkey's offensive in Syria.

In a post on Twitter, Raab said the military operation risks "greater humanitarian suffering and undermines the focus on countering Daesh [ISIS]."