Turkish lira steady after Turkey launches ground assault in Syria

India slams Turkey for its 'unilateral military offensive' in northeast Syria

"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", he said.

The Turkish army has confirmed "launched the land operation into the east of the Euphrates river" adding it had hit 181 "militant targets". "109 terrorists have been killed so far", Erdogan said in a speech to members of his AK Party in Ankara.

Turkey's aim is to push the SDF away from its border to create a "safe-zone" on the Syrian side, where it could send back some of the 3.6 million refugees from Syria's eight-year civil war that it currenly hosts.

Erdogan threatened to permit Syrian refugees in Turkey to move to Europe if European Union countries described his forces' move as an occupation.

"They are not honest, they just make up words", Erdogan said, singling out Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

American intelligence officials told NBC that they fear "a replay of what happened in Iraq between 2010 and 2013, when the core group who founded ISIS were released or escaped from detention after United States forces left the country".

Earlier in the day, at a Yom Kippur memorial service, Netanyahu did not mention US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria at the annual Yom Kippur War memorial ceremony on Thursday, but seemed to have it in mind when he said that Israel can ultimately rely only on itself.

The Hamzat Division, founded in April 2016 in Turkey, was one of the first Turkish-backed Syrian groups that entered the Syrian town of Jarablus in 2017 alongside the Turkish military.

One major concern for the worldwide community is the fate of thousands of suspected IS prisoners, including many foreign nationals, being guarded by Kurdish-led forces in the region.

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Aid agencies said many of those in the area where the controversial offensive is focused have already survived the brutality of the Islamic State era.

The withdrawal prompted Turkey on Wednesday to attack the Kurdish area in northern Syria, pushing Kurdish fighters to flee the area, leaving the ISIS fighters unguarded.

The SDF-held fighters include around 2,000 of foreign nationality, many of them from European countries that have refused to take them back.

The group claims to espouse an ideology called "democratic confederalism", based on the ideology of PKK founder and leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been in prison in Turkey since 1999. He expected Turkey to protect civilians and religious minorities and prevent a humanitarian crisis, he said.

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops effectively triggered the Turkish incursion.

Their proposed sanctions would target the assets of senior officials including Erdogan, mandate sanctions over Turkey's purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system and impose visa restrictions.

Later, the U.S. State Department official said the United States would penalize Turkey if it engages in any "inhumane and disproportionate" moves against civilians.

The US military has taken custody of two high-profile Daesh militants previously held in Syria by the SDF and moved them out of the country to a secure location, a US official said.

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