World: Erdogan vows to 'crush the heads' of Kurds if they don't withdraw; both sides trade blame for violating cease-fire - - PressFrom - Australia
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World Erdogan vows to 'crush the heads' of Kurds if they don't withdraw; both sides trade blame for violating cease-fire

22:40  19 october  2019
22:40  19 october  2019 Source:   foxnews.com

Trump calls Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria ‘a bad idea’ as Republican criticism mounts

  Trump calls Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria ‘a bad idea’ as Republican criticism mounts U.S. forces “should never have been there in the first place,” president tweets days after ordering troop withdrawal from the area.President Trump urged Turkey on Wednesday to protect civilians and safeguard Islamic State prisons as it launched a military operation in northern Syria against Syrian Kurdish forces, saying the United States would hold its NATO ally responsible for the consequences of its decision to attack a key U.S. counterterrorism partner.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday promised to "crush the heads" of the Kurds in Syria if they don't fall back from the border's safe zone, according to reports.

The threat comes as both Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claim the other is violating terms of a 120-hour cease-fire brokered by Turkey and the U.S. on Thursday.

Violence continued in northeast Syria despite the five-day peace agreement, a source told Fox News.

Dave Eubank with Free Burma Rangers, a private military company that provides emergency medical assistance, was on the ground near the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn trying to help trapped and wounded Kurds.

Who Are the Kurds, and Why Is Turkey Attacking Them in Syria?

  Who Are the Kurds, and Why Is Turkey Attacking Them in Syria? The Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria has complicated an already chaotic war. What began eight years ago as a series of nonviolent protests against the Syrian government morphed into an international conflict, between dozens of local factions, the Islamic State and several foreign countries.

Eubank told Fox News the fighting hasn't stopped and movement in the area is severely limited, despite the cease-fire's intention to "pause" fighting to allow Syrian Kurds time and space to retreat from the area. Thousands of Kurdish civilians live in the so-called buffer zone, a senior military source had told Fox News.

The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) was "still shooting all through the night," Eubank said. "So far since [the] cease-fire, no airstrikes here, but artillery and ground attacks."

Erdogan threatened the Kurds on Saturday during a televised speech, saying they will be slaughtered if they don't pull back from the 20-mile-wide safe zone along the Turkey-Syria border by Tuesday night.

"We will start where we left off and continue to crush the terrorists' heads," Erdogan said.

Turkey Urges Kurdish Fighters to Lay Down Their Arms

  Turkey Urges Kurdish Fighters to Lay Down Their Arms President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Wednesday called for Kurdish fighters battling his troops in northeastern Syria to lay down their weapons and withdraw from the border area “this very night.” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Wednesday called for Kurdish fighters battling his troops in northeastern Syria to lay down their weapons and withdraw from the border area “this very night.

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Turkey claims it is living up to the terms of the cease-fire agreement and accused the Kurds of  violating it.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said Kurdish forces carried out 14 "provocative" attacks in Ras al-Ayn in 36 hours, according to the BBC.

In a statement, the SDF said there has been "no tangible progress" in solving the issues at the northeast border.

TURKEY-SYRIA CEASE-FIRE: SENIOR US MILITARY SOURCE 'HIGHLY SKEPTICAL' OF DEAL

As of Friday, 86 civilians had been killed since Turkey launched its military offensive into Syria on Oct. 9, according to a war monitor, the BBC reported.

Erdogan claimed the move was to "neutralize terror threats" and establish a "safe zone." After carrying out airstrikes, Turkish ground troops later invaded northeastern Syria.

Nearly all U.S. troops there have been removed and will be redeployed in the region in the coming weeks.

TRUMPS WARNS ERDOGAN IN LETTER: 'DON'T BE A TOUGH GUY. DON'T BE A FOOL!'

The U.S. had teamed up with the Kurds to fight ISIS in the region. Some analysts and politicians criticized President Trump for removing America forces, saying it was a "green light" for Ankara to invade Syria and fight the Kurds.

Trump said the Turks have been "warring for many years," and that the U.S. does not need to protect war-torn Syria because it's "7,000 miles away."

The president on Friday claimed "thousands and thousands" of lives were being saved in Syria and Turkey due to the cease-fire.

Fox News' Griff Jenkins and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.

The Cease-Fire in Syria Worked (More or Less) .
Whatever the agreement was, it left the status quo in place, at least for the time being.The five-day period of the agreement did include clashes, which U.S. officials downplayed, but it also stanched a chaotic period following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he was pulling American forces out of Syria, in which scores were killed and thousands were displaced.

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