Former US military base in N. Syria left deserted following withdrawal
Former US military base in N. Syria left deserted following withdrawal
A US soldier stands guard during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al Hashisha along the border with Turkish
09 October, 2019, 16:05
We didn't respond to this unprovoked attack.
"We invite @POTUS to come see the progress #SDF & #US made in NE #Syria", he said.
SDF officials have previously warned they may have no choice but to release the IS fighters, if forced to fend off a Turkish incursion.
"The Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly", he said.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said overnight it was Turkey's fundamental right to take the necessary measures for its national security against terror threats from Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, accused the USA of playing "very unsafe games" with the Syrian Kurds.
Footage obtained by RT's video agency Ruptly shows what's left of a United States military base in Tel Arqam, near the town of Ras al-Ain along the Syrian-Turkish border.
A Turkish security official said one of the main goals of the overnight strike was to cut off a transit route between Iraq and Syria often used by Kurdish armed groups "before the operation in Syria".
He said, "There's a terror organisation on our southern border".
The first phase of the Turkish attack is expected to begin along a 120km stretch between the border towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain - the same area that United States forces evacuated on Donald Trump's orders on Monday. Multiple launch rocket systems were stationed at Suruc, some 60 km (40 miles) to the west, opposite the Syrian border town of Kobani, he said.
Turkey's lira lost 2% of its value against the dollar to hit its weakest since early September.
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces said Tuesday it is ready to fight against terrorism with Turkey.
After appearing to give a green light to the Turkish invasion, he later threatened to "obliterate" Turkey's economy if it went too far.
The primary motive for Turkey's military operation is to clear the Kurdish militias from its border region, such as the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria which is now entrenched east of the Euphrates River in particular and which Turkey sees as a national security threat, as well as the establishment of a safe zone in the north-east of the country. The US also severely limited Turkey's access to airspace over north-east Syria yesterday, crippling its capability to provide aerial cover throughout the operation.
"Given the likely military issues raised on the call between [Trump] and President Erdogan, Secretary of Defense Esper and Chairman Milley participated on the call", the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency.
Concerning Syria, he abruptly announced a full withdrawal of USA troops last December - only to be convinced to leave a rump force of about 1,000 troops to work with the Kurdish-led forces in the battle to defeat ISIS.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government has welcomed the upheaval, spying an opportunity to bring the country's Kurds back into its fold. "We will not accept any occupation of any land or grain of soil", deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad told al-Watan newspaper. Trump told Erdogan in a phone call on Sunday that dozens of American troops who'd been working closely with Kurdish forces in the fight against Islamic State would pull back, effectively clearing the way for a Turkish incursion.
The SDF says it lost some 11,000 fighters as the main frontline force against IS.
Its offensive into northern Syria first aims to surround towns in a strip of border territory, before pushing further south in an effort to dismantle any chance of a Kurdish state emerging on its doorstep, according to two Turkish officials, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive military planning.
There is widespread fear among many in the worldwide community that the operation will result in Turkey's occupation of Syrian territory, but Turkey denies that claim and presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has insisted that "Turkey has no interest in occupying any part of Syria".
The execution of that plan included dismantling some Kurdish defensive positions on the Syrian side of the border. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces became the main USA -backed force in Syria in the fight against IS.
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