Tuesday, 15 October, 2019

"Bad Idea", Says Trump As Turkey Launches Military Operation In Syria

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Laverne Griffith | 10 October, 2019, 01:38

Trump, in a break with many Republicans, has called for less USA military involvement overseas and says U.S. troops completed their mission in Syria of fighting the Islamic State movement.

Kurdish leaders in the region called on locals to "move toward areas close to the border with Turkey to carry out acts of resistance", the Times reported.

Rouhani's comments came amid reports from Iranian state television of a surprise military drill with army special operations forces near the country's border with Turkey.

Earlier Wednesday, warning of a "humanitarian catastrophe".

In addition, it's believed that any territorial gains made by Turkey will serve as a resettlement area for Syrian refugees who have flooded into Turkey. Others who melted into the population have been waging an insurgency in Syria - conducting assassinations, ambushes and suicide bombings - and have begun to reestablish fundraising capabilities there, according to a USA government report.

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

"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 on Monday.


"As a result we have moved the US forces in northern Syria out of the path of potential Turkish incursion to ensure their safety", US Defense Department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

Turkey has launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in north-eastern Syria after U.S. forces withdrew from the area.

Following a four-year campaign, SDF fighters, backed by USA air support and artillery, took out the last ISIS stronghold in southeast Syria near the Iraqi border in May. "There's smoke, columns of smoke rising above the city", the 30-year-old, who is a part of Women Defend Rojava campaign, said by phone.

Stoltenberg will visit Istanbul on Friday and he said he would raise the issue with Erdogan.

His call for ending USA military involvement in the Middle East and bringing the troops home was a feature of his presidential campaign, but it flies in the face of many decades of bipartisan American policy, even as the Trump administration and its immediate predecessor have tried to give additional attention to what they see as long-term security threats elsewhere, including from China and Russian Federation.

Reinforcements deployed by the Turkish army could be seen arriving at the border town of Akcakale on Tuesday, according to the state-owned Anadolu news agency.

By the time Turkish officials informed Satterfield of the pending incursion on Tuesday, the Pentagon had already made significant adjustments to protect United States troops, moving 50 Special Forces members out of the safe zone.


Hossam Zaki, deputy secretary general of the Arab League said that foreign ministers from around the region will be meeting in Cairo on Saturday to discuss Turkey's military operation.

In his statement, President Trump explained the rationale for the withdrawal, reiterating that the United States doesn't endorse Turkey's offensive in Syria.

Turkey has rid an area of 4,000 square km (1,544 square miles) in Syria of terrorist groups in two separate cross-border operations.

US-backed Kurdish forces have been responsible for holding all captured ISIS fighters in the area.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington of playing "very unsafe games" with the Syrian Kurds, saying that the USA first propped up the Syrian Kurdish "quasi state" in northeastern Syria and is now withdrawing its support.

He said that "such reckless attitude to this highly sensitive subject can set fire to the entire region, and we have to avoid it at any cost".

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


The SDF, which is holding thousands of IS fighters in several detention facilities in northeastern Syria, has warned that a Turkish incursion might lead to the resurgence of the extremists. According to The New York Times, Trump spoke to Erdogan before announcing the withdrawal of USA troops from the region.

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