ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey pounded Kurdish militia in northeast Syria for a second day on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee and killing dozens, in a cross-border assault on U.S. allies that has turned the Washington establishment against President Donald Trump.

The Turkish offensive against the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces, launched days after Trump pulled U.S. troops out of the way, opens one of the biggest new fronts in years in an eight-year-old civil war that has drawn in global powers.

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In a phone called with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, President Donald Trump reportedly advised Turkey not to invade northeastern Syria and offered to resume sales of the U.S.'s fifth-generation aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Trump offered Erdogan "a really good package," in addition to other benefits and a presidential visit, a senior State Department official told Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin.

Erdogan is still scheduled to visit the White House in November.

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The Turkish military and its Syrian proxies have begun ground operations into Kurdish-held northeastern Syria following airstrikes, Turkey's defense ministry announced on Wednesday.

So far, the Defense Department has not issued a statement about Turkey's invasion of Syria, which is officially called "Operation Peace Spring."

Prior to the invasion, the U.S. military moved around 50 special operators to bases elsewhere in Syria. U.S. and Turkish forces had been conducting joint patrols to make sure that Kurdish fighters with People's Protection Units, or YPG, withdrew from the Turkish border and dismantled their fortifications. But late on Sunday, the White House announced that U.S. troops would withdraw from the region because Turkey planned to launch a military operation into northeast Syria.

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