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World With Turkish offensive looming, Syrian Kurds mobilize civilian defense

14:25  09 october  2019
14:25  09 october  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Turkey v Syria's Kurds explained

  Turkey v Syria's Kurds explained A US pullout from north-east Syria could put Turkish and Kurdish fighters on collision course there.It will allow the Turkish military to launch an operation there against a Kurdish-led militia alliance that Western powers relied on to defeat the Islamic State (IS) group.

Turkish -backed members of the Syrian National Army prepare Tuesday for an expected military operation by Turkish shelling killed at least five civilians , according to the U.S.-allied Ankara views the Syrian Kurdish fighters as terrorists because of their links to Turkey ’s Kurdistan Workers’

Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria on Wednesday just days after U.S. troops pulled back from Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies attacked Kurdish militia in northeast Syria pounding them with air strikes and artillery before launching a cross-border

Photo gallery by photo services

Actually, President Trump, some Kurds did fight in World War II

  Actually, President Trump, some Kurds did fight in World War II But they didn't have a country, so they couldn't fight as one.Trump has acknowledged that the Kurds fought alongside the United States in Syria but said they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.” He has tried to justify the move by saying he wants to bring U.S. troops out of endless wars in the Middle East.

Turkish shelling killed at least five civilians , according to the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as the Syrian Kurdish -led militias are known. The offensive has presented the Trump administration with a dilemma as it has sought to balance Washington’s partnership with Turkey and

Democracy Dies in Darkness? Kurds will die in the daylight.

ISTANBUL —The Kurdish-led administration in northeastern Syria on Wednesday called for civilians in the area to defend against a Turkish military incursion that American and Turkish officials have said could begin at any moment.

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria announced three days of “public alarm” and urged people to “go to the border region adjacent to Turkey to carry out their moral duty and show resistance.”

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The mobilization came ahead of an expected military operation that Ankara says is aimed at pushing back Syrian-Kurdish militias from a long stretch of Turkey’s shared border with Syria. The planned offensive has presented the Trump administration with a dilemma, because the Syrian-Kurdish fighters are U.S. allies who aided in the fight against the Islamic State militant group.

'We feel betrayed': Kurds in U.S. voice anger at Trump's troop pullback

  'We feel betrayed': Kurds in U.S. voice anger at Trump's troop pullback 'We feel betrayed': Kurds in U.S. voice anger at Trump's troop pullbackNASHVILLE/NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Like many Kurds living in the United States, Lava Antar has had a hard time sleeping this week, waking often to check reports of Turkish jets and artillery pounding her northeast Syria homeland. Once, she learned her former neighbor's 30-year-old son was killed.

The 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria , code-named Operation Peace Spring ( Turkish : Barış Pınarı Harekâtı) by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF)

Turkey and the Kurds have said they would work to ensure the safety of ISIS prisons during the offensive , but as the state of play on the ground continues to shift, so too do conflicting reports over how that threat is being handled. JUST WATCHED. Turkish operation in Syria threatens civilians .

The White House announced Sunday that it was withdrawing U.S. troops from the area that Turkey planned to invade, igniting a firestorm of criticism. Republican leaders denounced Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds. Pentagon officials struggled with explanations, humanitarian workers warned of civilian casualties, and Kurdish commanders said they might be forced to abandon their Syrian prisons holding thousands of captured Islamic State fighters and head for the front lines against Turkey.

a close up of a hillside next to a tree: A looming Turkish incursion into northern Syria is set to reshape the map of the Syrian conflict once again, dealing a blow to Kurdish-led forces that have battled Islamic State while widening Turkey's territorial control at the border. This would be Turkey's third such incursion since 2016. Motivated largely by the aim of containing Syrian Kurdish power, Turkey already has troops on the ground across an arc of northwestern Syria, the last stronghold of anti-Damascus rebels. (Reporting by Dominic Evans and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Istanbul and Tom Perry in Beirut; Editing by William Maclean) Pictured: Turkish army howitzers are positioned on the Turkish-Syrian border, near the southeastern town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

Photo Gallery: 7 key things to know about Turkey and the war in Syria (Reuters)

Turkey views the Syrian-Kurdish fighters as terrorists allied with Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.  A spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Fahrettin Altun, writing in The Washington Post on Wednesday, called for international support for Turkey’s offensive.

“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,” Altun wrote.

U.S. to evacuate 1,000 troops from northern Syria, defense secretary says

  U.S. to evacuate 1,000 troops from northern Syria, defense secretary says "We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies," Secretary Mark Esper told "Face the Nation"Washington — The U.S. is "preparing to evacuate" about 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria "as safely and quickly as possible," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told "Face the Nation" in an interview Sunday.

Kurds mobilize in Syria as Turkey poised for imminent attack. The Kurdish -led civilian administration in northeastern Syria issued a "general mobilization " call along the Syrian border with Turkey on Wednesday as Ankara poised for an imminent invasion of the area in the latest major

Turkey has been diplomatically and militarily involved in the Syrian Civil War since its outbreak in 2011. Initially condemning the Syrian government at the outbreak of civil unrest in Syria during the

a group of people standing in front of a military uniform: Turkey-backed members of Syrian National Army prepare for an expected military operation by Turkey into Kurdish areas of northern Syria, in Azas near Turkish border, Syria, Oct. 8, 2019. © Stringer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Turkey-backed members of Syrian National Army prepare for an expected military operation by Turkey into Kurdish areas of northern Syria, in Azas near Turkish border, Syria, Oct. 8, 2019. U.S. officials said Tuesday that the offensive could begin within hours. On Wednesday morning, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said preparations for the offensive were continuing. The Reuters news agency, citing Turkish officials, reported Wednesday afternoon that a portion of a concrete border wall had been removed in advance of the military action.

Officials said they were uncertain whether Turkish forces would conduct a symbolic feint inside the border — which they said could enable the U.S. troops to return to reactivate the safe zone — or would force their way deeper into Syria.

Outside experts have cautioned that a large-scale Turkish operation, if it precipitated a security breakdown at prisons holding Islamic State militants, could prompt a larger U.S. withdrawal from Syria. The American presence, which includes about 1,000 troops in northeastern Syria, is a lean force dispersed across a number of bases.

Sabah, a Turkish newspaper close to Erdogan’s government, published a report Tuesday describing how the battle might unfold. It said Turkish armed forces would wait for the full withdrawal of U.S. troops before commencing any operation. Warplanes and howitzers would pound enemy positions, then Turkish troops would enter Syria from several points along the border, east of the Euphrates River.

Allies believe Trump gave 'green light' to Turkey despite US denials

  Allies believe Trump gave 'green light' to Turkey despite US denials President Trump betrayed the Syrian Kurds by allowing Turkey to launch a destabilizing offensive against U.S. partners, according to diplomats and analysts unpersuaded by U.S. claims that he had no choice. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.“The U.S. basically gave a green light to Turkey to do what they want toward the Kurds, despite all things that the president is saying right now,” said a Middle Eastern diplomat, who requested anonymity from the Washington Examiner to comment without offending the president.

a truck is parked on the side of a vehicle: Turkey-backed members of Syrian National Army prepare their vehicles for an expected military operation by Turkey into Kurdish areas of northern Syria, in Azas, Syria, near the Turkish border, Oct. 8, 2019. © Stringer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Turkey-backed members of Syrian National Army prepare their vehicles for an expected military operation by Turkey into Kurdish areas of northern Syria, in Azas, Syria, near the Turkish border, Oct. 8, 2019. The military would advance as far as 18 miles into Syrian territory, the report said, without naming its source. After the operation was completed, Turkey would “continue its humanitarian work to bring back locals in the area.”

On the other side of the Turkish border on Wednesday, many residents were steeling themselves for the worst. Mikael Mohammed, a Kurdish father of three who owns a clothing store in Tel Abyad, a quarter-mile from the Turkish frontier, said he had not received any customers since Tuesday. U.S. troops based in the town withdrew early Monday after the White House announcement.

“All the shops around me are open, except that there are no people,” Mohammed said in a telephone interview. “The only people heading to the marketplace today are those who need to buy food or things that are absolutely necessary. People who are out there in the streets look as if they are going to someone’s funeral.”

        President Donald Trump on Sunday announced that          US troops would soon be pulling out of northeastern Syria.                The White House said in a      late-night statement that the move was prompted by a phone     call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Trump,     citing the cost of maintaining a presence in the fractured     country and Turkey's desire to intervene in Kurdish-held areas.                The country has now been split in its control and a US     withdrawal will leave Kurdish militia, Turkish forces, and     Syria's government to scramble for control.            Here are all the major players that will be impacted by     Trump's decision.                   Visit Business Insider's homepage for     more stories.       President Donald Trump on Sunday announced that    US troops would soon be pulling out of northeastern Syria, a   move that observers say could put the United States' Kurdish   allies in jeopardy and pave the way for a major Turkish assault.

Photo Gallery: All the main player's in Trump's decision to withdraw troops in Syria (Business Insider)

And the town itself was divided. Some residents supported the Syrian-Kurdish force, called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as it faced off against Turkey’s military might. Others supported rebel groups backed by Turkey.

“We have people who were displaced from Afrin because of the Turkish invasion — they are worried that they will be displaced once again,” he said, referring to Ankara’s 2018 military offensive against a Kurdish enclave west of Tel Abyad.

“People are scared. When we used to see U.S. troops in the streets of Tel Abyad, we would feel safe; they were here to protect us. Yesterday, we saw U.S. troops, but this time they were on their way out of the area, and that terrified people,” he said.

kareem.fahim@washpost.com

DeYoung reported from Washington and Khatab from Beirut. Sarah Dadouch and Liz Sly in Beirut contributed to this report.

Turkey Accused of War Crimes After Suspected White Phosphorus Use Against Kurds in Syria .
Turkey, a NATO member, has allegedly used chemical weapons against civilians in northern Syria. © Getty Smoke and fire rising from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn during the Turkish offensive against Kurdish groups in northeastern Syria. Photo taken on October 17 when Turkey allegedly used white phosphorous-loaded munitions on civilians. Multiple sources have reported that white phosphorus-loaded munitions are believed to have been dropped in the border town of Ras al-Ayn after images and video surfaced of civilians, including children, suffering gruesome burns associated with the chemical.

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