Turkish forces push into Syria, battle U.S.-backed Kurdish militia

Turkey says it will swiftly crush U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG fighters in an air and ground offensive in the Afrin region beyond its border. Turkish forces crossed the border into Syria’s Afrin district on Sunday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said. At a news conference in Istanbul, he said Turkey’s military aimed to create a security zone some 30 kilometers (18 miles) inside the war-ravaged country. The state-run Anadolu news agency also reported the arrival of Turkish forces in the enclave as part of an operation codenamed Olive Branch, adding that airstrikes and artillery shelling that targeted the area, which began on Saturday, were continuing. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped the offensive would be completed in “a very short time.”