Turkey begins offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria


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. "Mothers and wives, crying desperately", he said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hopes that when faced with the threat from Turkey, the PYD will throw their lot in with him in order to avoid total defeat.

Another senior administration official who spoke to reporters on Monday said Turkey "would bear full responsibility" if the Islamic State (IS) reconstitutes in the wake of the crisis, but did not make clear how the United States planned to hold Ankara responsible for maintaining overcrowded detention facilities now under Kurdish control, including Al-Hol.

Ankara said the SDF is affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency against the Turkish state since the 1980s.

Trump has also appeared preoccupied that the USA would have to pick up the bill for the custody and prosecution of detained European Isis fighters, and the care of their families.

The president said in a statement that Turkey had committed to "ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place - and we will hold them to this commitment".

Trump went on to swipe at Sen.

Egypt's foreign ministry condemned the offensive as "a blatant and unacceptable attack on the sovereignty of a brotherly Arab state".

More than 3 million Syrian refugees are registered in Turkey, having fled brutal conditions imposed by both ISIS and their country's civil war.

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Turkey aimed to "neutralize" Syrian Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria and to "liberate the local population from the yoke of the armed thugs, " Altun wrote. With Turkey turning away from that agreement, however, the US troops at the center may be called on to instead monitor the Turkish operation and make sure that USA troops stay out of harm's way, the US officials said.

Brett McGurk, Trump's former envoy in the fight against ISIS - who resigned, along with former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, after Trump threatened to pull all us troops out of Syria - slammed Trump's decision, saying it was reached with "no knowledge or deliberation".

In its call for mobilization, the local Kurdish authority known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria also urged the worldwide community to live up to its responsibilities as "a humanitarian catastrophe might befall our people" in the region. Kurdish leaders also called on Russian Federation to act as an intermediary in possible talks with Damascus.

A photo taken from Turkey's Sanliurfa province, shows smoke rises at the site of Ras al Ain city of Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington of playing "very risky games" with the Syrian Kurds, saying that the US first propped up the Syrian Kurdish "quasi state" in northeastern Syria and is now withdrawing its support. Their fate was thrown into question by Trump's announcement that he would withdraw the 1,000 USA special forces in the area, effectively removing the buffer that has stopped Turkey attacking the SDF.

Reuters reported Wednesday that "the SDF stopped the anti-ISIS operations because it's impossible to carry out any operation while you are being threatened by a large army right on the northern border", according to a Kurdish military source. An activist collective known as Raqqa is being Silently Slaughtered reported an exchange of fire and an explosion.

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

IS claimed responsibility, saying one of its members killed or wounded 13 SDF members.