Turkey to begin offensive into Syria amid Russian warning

Turkish soldiers stand guard as a funeral convoy, carrying coffins of drowned Syrian migrants including the three-year old boy Aylan Kurdi, drives to the Turkish-Syrian border in Suruc, bordering with the northern Syrian town of Kobani, Turkey, September 4, 2015. Two Syrian toddlers who drowned with their mother as they were trying to reach Greece were laid to rest in the Syrian town of Kobani on Friday, a Reuters witness said. A photograph of the body of one of the toddlers, 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, washed up on the shore, appeared in newspapers around the world this week, prompting sympathy and outrage at the perceived inaction of developed nations in helping refugees. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar - RTX1R28Z

Turkey has claimed it will “shortly” begin an offensive into northern Syria as President Trump insisted the United States has not abandoned its Kurdish allies by pulling forces out of the area.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today warned of the risks of Washington sending mixed signals.

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The Kurds are “extremely alarmed” by US statements, he said, and fear that confusion could “ignite the whole region”. “This must be avoided at all costs,” Lavrov said.

Fahrettin Altun, Turkey’s communications director, wrote in the Washington Post that Turkish military units would “cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly”.

-Noah Harte