Turkey has launched a ground offensive in Northern Syria, hours after its warplanes and artillery began hitting territory held by Kurdish-led forces.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was to create a “Safe Zone” cleared of Kurdish Militias which will also house Syrian refugees.

The unilateral decision has been widely condemned, with the European Union urging turkey to end its offensive.

Kurdish-led forces who were key us allies vowed to resist.

The offensive was launched just days after President Donald Trump withdrew us troops from the border area, a decision that was criticized at home and abroad.

In a tweet, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across country’s southern border, and to bring peace to the area.

He said the operation peace spring will neutralize terror threats against turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.