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Turkey sends warplanes to bomb locations in northern Syria

A Turkish army officer prepares to upload a tank from a truck to its new position on the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Tensions have risen at the border between Turkey and Syria, on expectation of a Turkish military incursion into Syria. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A spokesman for the U.S.-backed Kurdish-led force in northern Syria says Turkish warplanes have started targeting “civilian areas” in northern Syria.

Mustafa Bali of the Syrian Democratic Forces says the airstrikes have caused “a huge panic among people of the region.”

Bali’s tweet earlier today came shortly after Turkish President Erdogan announced in tweet that Turkish offensive into northeast Syria has started.

Turkey has been massing troops for days in preparation for an attack against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria that Ankara considers a terrorist organization

A U.S. official says the Turkish airstrikes in northeastern Syria are not coordinated with the U.S. military and are considered dangerous for the coalition forces and civilians in the area.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that a Turkish military operation into Syria has started.

Erdogan said on his official Twitter account today that the operation, named “Peace Spring,” has begun. He said the operation aims to eradicate “the threat of terror” against Turkey.

Earlier, Turkish television reports said Turkish jets had bombed Syrian Kurdish positions across the border from Turkey.

Turkey had long threatened an attack on the Kurdish fighters whom Ankara considers to terrorists and an extention of

Trump agreed to withdraw United States troops from Syria and hand control to Turkey

President Donald Trump is defending his decision to pull back U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, citing a focus on the “BIG PICTURE!”

Trump tweeted today that “GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY!”

Trump says “stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!” and he is “slowly & carefully” bringing U.S. troops home.

But the decision to leave Syrian Kurds — who supported the U.S. in the fight against Islamic State militants — vulnerable to a military onslaught from Turkey has been condemned by some of Trump’s staunchest Republican allies.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told “Fox & Friends” today that such a move would be Trump’s “biggest mistake” as president.