Turkish President Announces Offensive Into Northern Syria Has Begun
Turkish President Announces Offensive Into Northern Syria Has Begun
US President Donald Trump speaks about Turkey and Syria at the White House in Washington
09 October, 2019, 23:35
The SDF called on the worldwide community to impose a no-fly zone to protect against "an imminent humanitarian crisis".
At Akcakale, across from Syria's Tel Abyad, howitzers were deployed behind earth embankments and pointed towards Syria, a Reuters witness said on Tuesday.
The White House said Wednesday the Turkish assault was a "bad idea" after it had effectively gifted Mr Erdogan a green light and smashed the U.S. alliance with the Kurdish forces, who spearheaded five years of ground battles against the Islamic State group in Syria.
The statement said the mobilization would last for three days.
In a sign of Washington's disapproval, Turkish forces were removed from planned flights by the USA -led military coalition against the Islamic State in Syria, officials said.
In tweets, Graham urged prayers for "our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration", adding, "This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS".
The SDF, which is viewed as a terror group by Ankara despite being a long-time ally of Washington on the fight against ISIS, warned the Turkish offensive would enable surviving ISIS leaders to come out of hiding.
Kurdish officials indicated on Tuesday afternoon that Turkish forces had begun shelling positions on the border, but no injuries had been reported.
He said smoke could be seen rising from buildings in Ras al-Ain.
Why is there conflict between Turkey and the Kurds?
"A Turkish military advance into Syria threatens to halt momentum against ISIS, directly assaults our SDF partners, and could give the likes of al-Qaeda and Iran new footholds in the region", Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted. There were no immediate reports of casualties there. They called for an independent Kurdish state within Turkey.
Turkey's plans to create a safe zone inside Syria, Adams said, "sounds like a killing zone dressed up in some humanitarian language".
Mr Erdogan earlier told Russia's President Vladimir Putin in a phone call that the operation would help peace and stability in Syria. It was also ready to embrace "prodigal sons", it said, in an apparent reference to the Syrian Kurdish authorities who hold the northeast. The defeat of IS has repeatedly been touted as the sole reason for U.S. involvement in Syria (as well as occasionally challenging Iran); and now that this has largely taken place, Trump has argued the United States has no need to remain. "The safe zones were working".
Kurdish-led forces denounced the United States policy shift as a "stab in the back".
Christians in northeast Syria, mainly Syriacs, also fought alongside the Kurds to defeat Islamic State militants.
"Turkey has no ambition in northeastern Syria except to neutralize a long-standing threat against Turkish citizens and to liberate the local population from the yoke of armed thugs", he said.
"Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area", he said on Twitter. YPG fighters could either defect or Ankara would have to "stop them from disrupting our counter-Islamic State efforts", he wrote in a tweet and in a column in the Washington Post. "(Troop) transfers and preparations are still underway", Akar said, according to state news agency Anadolu. They will be based in Ceylanpinar, with 14,000 of them gradually joining the offensive.
Nejat Elsern, a retired Turkish Army general, says that while the Kurdish fighters in Syria are the "most important threat" to Turkey, "the main topic of the White House statement is not the PKK, it is ISIS".
"We will do our best to support the start of such substantive talks", Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters during a visit to Kazakhstan.
Describing ties between Washington and Ankara as "very good", the US president said that "any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency".
The White House decision, arrived at after a telephone call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sparked a bipartisan backlash in Washington.
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