Donald Trump Ally Vows US Congress To Make Turkey Pay 'Heavy Price'

Clay Curtis
October 11, 2019

Turkey's Demiroren news agency said Turkish-backed Syrian rebels had traveled from northwest Syria to Turkey in preparation for the incursion.

The Turkish official pointed out that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stressed that, "Turkey sets its own way when it comes to its national security".

South African Ambassador the United Nations Jerry Matjila, now president of the Security Council, said the council was monitoring the situation.

Civilians ride a pickup truck as smoke billows following Turkish bombardment on Syria's northeastern town of Ras al-Ain in the Hasakeh province along the Turkish border on October 9, 2019. The sound of explosions could be heard in Turkey. A witness reached by telephone said civilians were fleeing en masse. Kurdish politician Nawaf Khalil, who is in Rojava, said some people were leaving the town for villages farther south.

Expectations for that assault rose after U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday abruptly announced that U.S. troops would step aside ahead of the Turkish push - a shift in U.S. policy that essentially abandoned the Syrian Kurds, longtime U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

Mr Trump went on to criticise the Kurds for only fighting with the U.S. over their own lands.

The Syrian Kurdish forces were long-time USA allies in the fight against the so-called Islamic State group. I hope we can turn the fight against ISIS over to Turkey.

During their recent phone conversation, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has confirmed that Ankara respects Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Lavrov stressed.

The SDF, which holds thousands of IS fighters in detention facilities in northeastern Syria, has warned that a Turkish incursion might lead to the resurgence of the extremists. He initially had hoped to do it in collaboration with the United States but grew frustrated with what he considered to be delaying tactics by the U.S. The Turkish air strikes had killed three SDF members and five civilians and wounded two others, the SDF said.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the Islamic republic opposes any possible military operation by Turkey in Syria. Trump denied he had abandoned the forces, the most capable USA partners in fighting the militant Islamic State group in Syria.

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Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northeast Syria has rattled allies, including France, one of Washington's main partners in the US -led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

"Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area", Erdogan said in a tweet.

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

In addition, Turkey wants to expell Syrian refugees from Turkey and resettle them in a "safe zone" it plans to create in northern Syria. Turkish howitzer fire then hit bases and ammunition depots of the Kurdish YPG militia.

Turkey views Kurdish YPG fighters in northeast Syria as terrorists due to their ties to militants waging an insurgency inside Turkey.

The artillery strikes, which also targeted YPG gun and sniper positions, were aimed at sites far from residential areas, the source said.

Turkish media said several mortar shells had landed on the Turkish side of the border but there were no casualties.

The Kurdish-led authority in northern Syria declared a state of "general mobilization" before the looming attack.

A United States defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, and a Kurdish official in Syria said the SDF had suspended operations against IS militants because of the Turkish operation.

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