Turkey launches military attack in northern Syria

Joanna Estrada
October 9, 2019

"As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)", Trump tweeted.

Trump has long criticized President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, but the subsequent rise of extremist groups like the Islamic State has convinced many national security officials, and lawmakers such as Graham, that a precipitous us troop withdrawal from the region would leave the USA and its allies even more vulnerable to extremism.

The Turkish army has placed howitzers behind earth embankments on its side of the border near the town of Akcakale. We believe that a correct path should be adopted to remove those concerns. The foreign policy establishment folks appear to have a point, for once: As pressing as the need to bring the troops home is, keeping a small force beside the Kurds to stave off a massive multinational bloodbath was the most prudent option, at least in the short term.

The Kurds have always been considered as among Washington's most reliable partners in Syria and in the broader campaign against ISIS in the region.

Prior to Turkey's official launch of its operation, Graham had called Trump's decision a "disaster in the making" and said that he and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen would introduce legislation calling for sanctions against Ankara if Turkey launched an operation in northeast Syria.

Analysts warn that the Kurds will not be able to protect thousands of captured Islamic State prisoners when a Turkish incursion takes place. The area is about 620 kilometres northwest of Tehran.

Trump goes on with his statement to insist that he's fulfilling his campaign promise to end America's involvement in "endless, senseless wars" that aren't beneficial for the country.

Turkish forces and Syrian rebel allies will cross the Syrian border "shortly", a Turkish official said early on Wednesday, as a surprise withdrawal of United States troops made way for the Turkish incursion.

Turkey's vice president Fuat Oktay says his country won't bow to threats in an apparent response to U.S. President Donald Trump's warning to Ankara about the scope of its planned military incursion into Syria.

A direct organizational connection links the Kurdish militia in the region in question, the People's Protection Units (YPG), to the Turkish Kurdish resistance movement, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has spilled much Turkish blood over more than three decades through worldwide terrorism and insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

"We call upon our people, of all ethnic groups, to move toward areas close to the border with Turkey to carry out acts of resistance during this sensitive historical time", it said.

The operation started at 4 p.m. local time, the ministry said in a statement.

The president's remarks came as Republicans in Congress continued to warn that the Turkish assault was a threat to us policy interests.

The Kurdish-led civilian administration in northeastern Syria warned on October 9 of a "humanitarian catastrophe" in northern Syria if hostilities break out, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that US actions in the area could "ignite the whole region". Khanna said. "This war will destabilize the region, and possibly allow ISIS to regain power in the area".

Trump sought to explain his position by stressing that Washington has an important relationship with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and trading partner Turkey.

"We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons!", he added.

Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish presidency's communications director, called on the worldwide community in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday "to rally" behind Ankara, which he said would also take over the fight against the Islamic State group.

PKK militants, seeking an independent Kurdish state, have been waging a low-intensity insurgency in the southeast of Turkey for decades.

Given that those same Kurdish groups have fought alongside U.S. forces against the Islamic State movement in Syria, Trump's decision was seen by prominent figures of his own Republican party as a betrayal.

In Wednesday's attack, ISIS launched three suicide bombings against Kurdish positions in Raqqa.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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