The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which runs most of northeast Syria and has been a key USA ally in the fight against the jihadists, warned the assault is an "initial repercussion" of an imminent invasion by Turkish troops.
In an unprecedented reversal for Washington's policy in Syria the Americans armed, trained and encouraged the SDF to liberate wide swaths of Syria from ISIS only to turn around on October 6 and, under the leadership of US President Donald Trump, give Turkey the open skies and borders to attack US partner forces.
The PYD was founded in 2003 in Syria, and following the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the group managed to take control of much of the country's north in the security vacuum that followed. The losses picked up even as state lenders increased the amount of dollars they were selling to the market, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn't public.
The objective of the operation in northeast Syria is to strike at YPG fighters.
"I count on Turkey to act with restraint & ensure that the gains we have made in the fight against ISIS are not jeopardized", Stoltenberg said on Twitter.
International Freedom Battalions - an international volunteer organisation made up of foreign fighters, loosely modelled on the International Brigades who volunteered to fight during the Spanish Civil War.
Turkey has closed airspace along the border with Syria amid ongoing airstrikes.
The aerial activity has also intensified in the 10th Tanker Base Command of Incirlik air base in Adana, southern Turkey, as part of the operation. Since then, Erdogan has repeated his determination that he would "never allow the establishment of a Kurdish state in northern Syria".
So why does Turkey now want to invade northern Syria and force the Kurdish groups out? "The main security threat against Turkey is the PKK".
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There is a long-standing conflict between the Turkish state and the Kurds who live in Turkey, who constitute 15% to 20% of the population.
Turkey is yet to confirm when its operation will commence, how many troops it will deploy, or how far into Syrian territory it plans to advance.
A medic from the Kurdish Red Crescent, speaking on the condition of anonymity fearing retribution from Turkey, said that hospitals have stockpiled drugs in basements across the region and that doctors are on high alert. The PYD has also been accused of enforcing a one-party rule in the Autonomous Administration that runs Rojava.
Basically, Turkey says Kurdish forces are terrorists themselves.
"The Turkish Government is always trying to distort the image of the Kurdish people, and its political parties, and everything else belonging to the Kurdish, including the history and culture, too."Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is considered a terrorist group by the U.S.
Another senior administration official who spoke to reporters on Monday said Turkey "would bear full responsibility" if the Islamic State (IS) reconstitutes in the wake of the crisis, but did not make clear how the United States planned to hold Ankara responsible for maintaining overcrowded detention facilities now under Kurdish control, including Al-Hol.
The biggest fear for the U.S. and its allies is that Turkey's takeover of PYD-controlled areas could see the release of some of the 15,000 IS fighters previously captured by the Kurds and their allies.
Trump on Tuesday did not say he opposed any operation by Turkey against the Kurds, but warned that "unforced or unnecessary fighting" would prompt "devastating" consequences for the country's economy and their "very fragile currency". Mazlum Kobani, commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, told the Times on Tuesday that his troops would now focus on fighting Turkish troops, which will require them to pull out of areas where ISIS remains a threat.
Graham said Congress "will push back" against Turkey.