Lindsey Graham Undercut Own Support for Kurds During Prank Call

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Amid the close relationship with President Donald Trump, Israeli officials appear apprehensive to criticize his decision to pull US troops out of Syria and lay the groundwork for a Turkish incursion against the Kurds.

"We have one of three choices: Send in thousands of troops and win militarily, hit Turkey very hard financially and with sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds! the United States president said". "We did our job perfectly", the USA president added.

In a tweet on his official Twitter account, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi said: "We urge Turkey to stop attack on Syria and solve all issues through dialogue, within global law".

Bombing: Women run away after a rocket fired from Syria landed in their vicinity in the Turkish border town of Akcakale.

At least five Turkish border towns have been hit by dozens of mortars since Wednesday.

He said a convoy of 20 armoured vehicles carrying Syrian rebels entered Syria from Ceylanpinar on Friday.

Turkish soldiers are joined on the ground by members of the Free Syrian Army — recently rebranded as the Syrian National Army.

Worldwide and local aid agencies fear that hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk, as Turkey launches airstrikes and pursues a ground offensive to clear once-U.S. -backed Kurdish forces from the border area.

Turkey's Defense Ministry said earlier on Thursday that it had attacked 181 targets in north-eastern Syria and Turkish ground troops continue to advance against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. It says it has killed 277 militants in total.

Kurds said they were resisting the assault.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish forces halted all operations against IS in order to focus on fighting Turkish troops, Kurdish and US officials said.

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Turkey believes the Kurdish fighters are aligned with the Kurdish People's Protection Units - also known as YPG - who are waging a decades-long insurgency inside Turkey and are considered terrorists in Ankara.

Turkey claims its offensive is meant to create a security buffer zone on the border with Syria and neutralize Kurdish terror groups.

The Kurdish militias in northern Syria have been staunch allies of USA forces in the battle against the Islamic State.

They have set up their own institutions in the territory they control in Syria, where they have taken custody of thousands of Islamist insurgents, including many foreigners who came to fight.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called for an emergency meeting of the coalition of more than 30 countries created to fight ISIL.

Critics have decried the decision by Trump, which they say undermines progress against ISIS in the region and leaves a USA ally in the fight against the Islamic State vulnerable.

"Turkey must understand that our main concern is that their actions may lead to another humanitarian catastrophe, which would be unacceptable", Tusk said.

"If there is any measure taken against us, we will retaliate and respond in kind", he said.

The Kurdish authorities have repeatedly talked up the threat they say Ankara's offensive poses to the US-led campaign against the jihadists.

The SDF said Turkish air strikes and shelling had killed nine civilians.

Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitor, said the biggest displacement was from the border areas of Ras al-Ain, Tal Abyad and Derbasiyeh.

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