Turkey's military said it captured a key Syrian border town under heavy bombardment Saturday in its most significant gain since an offensive against Kurdish fighters began four days ago, with no sign of relenting despite mounting international criticism.
Turkish troops entered central Ras al-Ayn, according to Turkey's Defense Ministry and a war monitor group. The ministry tweeted: "Ras al-Ayn's residential center has been taken under control through the successful operations in the east of Euphrates" River. It marked the biggest gain made by Turkey since the invasion began Wednesday.
The continued push by Turkey into Syria comes days after President Donald Trump cleared the way for Turkey's air and ground offensive, pulling back US forces and saying he wanted to stop getting involved with "endless wars." Trump's decision drew swift bipartisan criticism that he was endangering regional stability and risking the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who brought down the Islamic State group in Syria. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces was the main US ally in the fight and lost 11,000 fighters in the nearly five-year battle against IS.