Istanbul (AP) - Turkey has launched its military offensive against Kurdish militias in northern Syria with air strikes and artillery fire. This was confirmed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The application met with sharp international criticism. The aim of the operation is the Kurdish YPG militia, which controls a large area on the Syrian side of the border. Turkey sees in it an offshoot of the banned Kurdish workers' party PKK and thus a terrorist organization. In the evening there were reports of first victims.