>> Turkey firing shells into Syria. The Defense Minister saying the cross-border firing marks the start of an operation against the Kurdish-controlled Afren region. Turkey sees the area as a threat. This shows growing Kurdish strength across a wide stretch of North Syria. These tanks hitting Syria from a border village in the south of the country.
The Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia reported a bombardment that began around midnight. They say Turkish forces fired around 70 shells at Kurdish villages. Turkey dispatched its military chief to Syria's main ally, Moscow, in attempt to get the green light for an air campaign on the territory. Though Damascus is warning it could shoot down any Turkish planes that enter its skies.
The trip is the strongest sign yet that Turkey is serious about direct military action, potentially opening a new front in Syria's brutal civil war. It would mean confronting Kurds allied to the US, spelling more tough times ahead for Turkey's already fractured relations with Washington.