World: With Turkish offensive looming, Syrian Kurds mobilize civilian defense - PressFrom - US
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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.

Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria have declared a state of emergency and called for civilians volunteers to head to the front lines to defend against an imminent Turkish assault. Turkish forces have begun mobilising on the Syrian border Credit: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis.

“ Turkey has no ambition in northeastern Syria except to neutralize a longstanding threat against Turkish citizens and to liberate the local For its part, the Syrian Democratic Forces said the area was “on the edge of possible humanitarian catastrophe” because of the looming Turkish incursion.

Photo gallery by photo services

Trump defends Syria move: The Kurds 'didn't help us' in Normandy

  Trump defends Syria move: The Kurds 'didn't help us' in Normandy President Trump on Wednesday criticized the Kurds, saying they didn't help the United States during World War II and that they were only fighting for their land in Syria during the battle against ISIS."The Kurds are fighting for their land," Trump told reporters at the White House during an event in the Roosevelt Room."And as somebody wrote in a very, very powerful article today, they didn't help us in the second World War, they didn't"The Kurds are fighting for their land," Trump told reporters at the White House during an event in the Roosevelt Room.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said late on Tuesday night that Turkish forces were already attacking near the border. “We are nervous, and very much against this Turkish offensive ,” a European official said on Tuesday. The official expressed hoped that the offensive could be limited in

A Turkish military operation against Syrian Kurdish territory could unleash instability, displacement and intense fighting. The Kurds are warning of A Turkish military incursion into northeast Syria would likely send hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing into SDF-controlled areas further south

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.

Exclusive: Turkey Bombs US Special Forces in Syria Attack, Apparently by Mistake

  Exclusive: Turkey Bombs US Special Forces in Syria Attack, Apparently by Mistake A contingent of U.S. Special Forces has been caught up in Turkish shelling against U.S.-backed Kurdish positions in northern Syria. © DELIL SOULEIMAN A US soldier sits atop an armoured vehicle during a demonstration by Syrian Kurds against Turkish threats next to a base for the US-led international coalition on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border on October 6, 2019. - US forces in Syria started pulling back today from Turkish border areas, opening the way for Ankara's threatened military invasion and heightening fears of a jihadist resurgence.

Turkey and the US conducted joint patrols in Syria 's northeast before Trump decided to make way for a Turkish invasion. But the apparent quid pro quo with Turkey means many rebels will be drawn to a new front opened up by a Turkish invasion in the east.

Turkey intensified its shelling of Kurdish fighters in neighboring Syria on Friday as it ramped up threats to launch a full military offensive across the border, a move that would stoke tensions with the United States. Syrian Kurds carry portraits of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader, Abdullah Ocalan

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.

Turkish airstrikes in Syria reportedly target journalist convoy, civilians; at least 9 dead

  Turkish airstrikes in Syria reportedly target journalist convoy, civilians; at least 9 dead Fresh airstrikes from Turkey reportedly targeted civilians and a group of foreign reporters in the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn, according to monitoring groups and Syrian Kurdish officials. © Provided by Fox News Network LLCThe Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said the airstrike killed at least nine people - including five civilians on Sunday, while other reports claimed that a convoy with foreign journalists was also targeted, according to Haaretz. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Kurdish civilians in northeastern Syria are planning to stage open-ended sit-ins in areas near the border with Turkey in response to a looming Turkish According to Sheikhmous, all segments of society in the region including Kurds , Arabs and Syriacs - an ancient Christian population - oppose a

Turkey has been poised to advance into northeast Syria since the U.S. troops began vacating the area in an abrupt policy shift by U.S. President Donald Trump widely criticised in Washington as a betrayal of America’s allies, the Kurds . On Tuesday, Turkish officials told Reuters that the military had struck 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.

Turkey says it is acting in self-defense in Syria

  Turkey says it is acting in self-defense in Syria Turkey has justified its ongoing invasion of northeast Syria to the United Nations by saying it's exercising its right to self-defense under the U.N. Charter, according to a letter circulated Monday. Ankara said the military offensive was undertaken to counter an "imminent terrorist threat" and to ensure the security of its borders from Syrian Kurdish militias, whom it calls "terrorists," and the Islamic State extremist group. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Operation Olive Branch ( Turkish : Zeytin Dalı Harekâtı) is an ongoing military operation conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkish -backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA)

“We are considering a partnership with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the aim of fighting Turkish forces,” said SDF Commander Mazlum No doubt this is sure to get the immediate attention of the top Pentagon brass, given current and former defense officials (in both the Obama and Trump

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.

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

Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS .
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey, penned an open letter in English rebuking President Trump's comparison of the group to ISIS amid a fight between Kurds and Turkish forces in northern Syria. © Reuters/NDN Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS The PKK said in Friday's letter that it "refused comparisons" to ISIS after Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday that the Kurds were "no angels" and that the PKK is likely "more of a terrorist threat" than ISIS.

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