Civilians Flee Syrian Border Towns as Turkish Offensive Begins

Ruben Fields
October 10, 2019

Turkey is backing the Free Syrian Army, the major opposition force in Syria that was formerly supported by the US.

At least five civilians and three Kurdish fighters were reportedly killed.

Turkey Wednesday began a military operation in northern Syria against Kurdish fighters, days after the United States announced it was withdrawing troops from the area.

Trump has faced a barrage of criticism from within his own party, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. "There is no trust of Turkey especially after what Turkey and its allied Syrian forces did in Afrin in 2018 where they forced religious minorities-Yazidis and Christians-out, and those who stayed on were persecuted and forced to convert", he said. We didn't respond to this unprovoked attack.

The United Nations Security Council will meet on Syria behind closed-doors on Thursday, diplomats said.

McGurk, who resigned shortly after Trump announced us troops would pull out of Syria late December, said that Turkey does not have the intent, desire, nor the capacity to manage detainees the SDF holds at al Hol camp, which Pentagon officials warn is the "nucleus for a resurgent ISIS". Tensions have risen at the border between Turkey and Syria, on the expectation of a Turkish military operation into Syria. The People's Protection Units (YPG) is the party's armed wing.

Trump had Vladimir Putin's back in Helsinki when he said he believed Putin over our intelligence community.

Shortly after the Turkish operation inside Syria had started, local residents cheer and applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces vehicles is driven through the town of Akcakale.

A resident of Tal Abyad said one of the bombs hit an SDF office, and he fled with his wife and mother by auto to Raqqa, almost 100 kilometers (60 miles) to the south, to flee the bombing.

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Lizzie Irvine, from south-east Scotland, spoke to the Telegraph from the town of Ras al-Ain, which has become the focus of the Turkish assault on Kurdish-held northern Syria. Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing an ally, the Syrian Kurdish forces, and undermining Washington's credibility. There was no immediate word on casualties.

World powers fear Turkey's invasion could open a new chapter in Syria's war and worsen regional turmoil.

Turkey on Wednesday announced launch of Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terror elements to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria's territorial integrity.

For Ankara, which views Kurdish YPG fighters as terrorists due to their links to militants waging an insurgency inside Turkey, an influx of non-Kurdish Syrians would help it secure a buffer against its main security threat. "The main security threat against Turkey is the PKK".

"Just as the Kurds had our backs against ISIS, we must have theirs", Hurd said.

The SDF halted operations against ISIS because of the Turkish offensive, two U.S. officials and a Kurdish source said. The group's leaders told the Times that there have been no discussions with us officials about turning over the camps to Turkey.

"We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters", Trump tweeted.

The Kurdish-led authority in northern Syria declared a state of "general mobilization" before calling on its people to head toward the border "to fulfill their moral duty and show resistance in these sensitive, historic moments". Erdogan claimed the mission was to "prevent the creation of a terror corridor" on Turkey's southern border and to "neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone". They too were not informed on October 6 as the United States chose to say that ISIS detainees were not Turkey's responsibility and that the USA would withdraw from the border.

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