The operation will be launched together with Syrian rebel groups to “neutralise” the Kurdish fighting group that was the West’s main ally in the fight against Isis, the Turkish government announced.
Local news agencies reported a heavy build-up of Turkish military forces on the border overnight, including a convoy of 120 vehicles carrying tanks, artillery and armoured personnel vehicles.
In response to signs of an imminent invasion, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces called on the US-led anti-Isis coalition to implement a no-fly zone over northeast Syria.
“To protect people of NE Syria from an imminent humanitarian crisis, we call the coalition and the international community for the implementation of a No Fly Zone as was done in the past for the people of Iraq,” said a statement from SDF’s official Twitter account.
The region's civilian administration, which is affiliated with the SDF, called for a "general mobilisation" along the border with Turkey to fight back against any incursion.
"We call upon our people, of all ethnic groups, to move toward areas close to the border with Turkey to carry out acts of resistance during this sensitive historical time," said the local authority, known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.