Turkey starts ground offensive into Syria

Turkey's defense ministry says the military has launched ground operations into northern Syria. They are targeting Kurdish forces. The Kurdish side says eight people, including civilians, have been killed.

The Turkish ministry said on its official Twitter account on Wednesday night that the military and Syrian units started a ground offensive into the eastern side of the Euphrates River.

The Kurdish forces in Syria say three fighters and five civilians have been killed and dozens of others have been injured.

A spokesperson of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party described Turkey's offensive as a brutal attack and aggression in a telephone interview with NHK.

The official said the attack is a threat not only to Kurdish people but also to all residents of northern Syria.

The US-backed Kurdish forces effectively control northern Syria. Turkey regards them as a terrorist organization that poses a separatist threat.

Turkey began shelling the region in a military campaign earlier on Wednesday. It says it will remove the Kurds from areas near the border for its security. It also says it will create a safe zone and have Syrian refugees in Turkey settle there.