On the frontline: Turkish troops prepare to enter Syria

Yolanda Curtis
October 9, 2019

Fox News Flash top headlines for October 8 are here.

The defense ministry said Tuesday that preparations were complete for an operation after Trump ordered the withdrawal of USA troops from the border region.

"Unfortunately, Turkey has chosen to act unilaterally".

The move would clear the way for an expected Turkish assault and essentially abandon Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces to defeat the Islamic State.

According to Trump, the U.S. military should fight only where it is in the country's interest, "and only fight to win".

Joining other Republicans in Congress, both of Alaska's senators are criticizing President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria's northern border with Turkey.

"The Department's position has been and remains that establishing a safe zone in northern Syria is the best path forward to maintaining stability", Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement. Turkey says that once secured, the area would become a "safe zone" allowing the repatriation of some 2 million of the Syrian refugees now on Turkish soil.

He warned that Turkey will tolerate the creation of "a terror corridor next to our borders under no circumstances, whatever the cost".

America's foes - Assad, Russia, and Iran - all stand to gain from a US troop withdrawal and will likely bide their time until they can move in and retake the area.

He also lauded relations between the two countries, bragging about their - and his own - achievements, stressing that Ankara is actually "an important member in good standing of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation". But he then threatened to "totally destroy and obliterate" Turkey's economy if they went too far.

A "Kennedy" panel discusses President Trump's move to pull out of Syria and debates if the move was handled well.

Turkey refers to the stretch of territory run by the USA -allied Syrian Kurdish fighters as a "terror corridor" and calls it an existential threat.

While the U.S. sends mixed messages on troop withdrawal, Turkey continued on Tuesday preparations for its military campaign.

Sky's Middle East correspondent Mark Stone has travelled to Turkey's border with Syria, and he sent this report.

Trump has been facing mounting pressure in Washington after the White House late on Sunday ruled out any USA involvement in the operation.

His controversial decision was widely condemned at home and overseas. Removal of troops at the border could open the door to expansion by Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad's forces as well as Russian and Iranian allies into areas that Kurdish and US forces have cleared of Islamic State fighters, the Post reported. He said he could also name supporters, but he didn't. While they may publicly oppose a Turkish incursion into Syria, they probably don't mind an operation that diminishes the Kurdish forces.

Turkey regards the Kurdish militias, which dominate the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as terrorists, and the U.S. pullout was seen as paving the way for an offensive.

For Ankara, this is not the first operation of its kind. The YPG is the Syrian branch of the terrorist organization PKK.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union recognise the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

French forces have carried out operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria since September 2014.

The partnership was one of the issues that strained ties between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states, with Ankara arguing that supporting a terror group to fight another terror group makes no sense.

Other reports by iNewsToday