Turkey summons US envoy for Syria offensive briefing - CNN Turk

Cheryl Sanders
October 11, 2019

Turkey has already carried out two cross-border offensives into Syria, including one in 2018 that saw it and allied Syria rebels overrun the majority-Kurdish Afrin enclave in the northwest.

In northeast Syria, Kurds are holding thousands of captured fighters and their families from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) group.

Turkey has said it intends to create a "safe zone" in order to return millions of refugees to Syrian soil, but the scheme has alarmed some Western allies as much as the risks posed by the military operation itself.

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

"We have repeatedly voiced our position on what is happening in northeast Syria, including in the Syrian-Turkish border region".

AFP correspondents witnessed the arrival of a large convoy of vehicles in the Turkish border town of Akcakale.

It also called on Kurds in Syria and overseas to protest against Ankara's planned offensive.

Ankara has strongly opposed Washington's support for Kurdish forces in Syria citing their links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has fought a deadly insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

"We will not leave this land", said Kawa Sleem, a 32-year-old Ras al-Ain resident.

"We will resist. We have been at war for seven years so we can continue the war for seven more years", Mazlum Kobani told the newspaper. Like Tal Abyad, further west, its population is mainly Arab.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the military build-up along the border was continuing on Wednesday.

Trump has faced a barrage of criticism, including from close allies in Washington, for appearing to leave USA allies to their fate.

"There is massive bipartisan opposition in Congress, which you should see as a red line you should not cross". "As before, this is the only way to achieve stability", Lavrov said.

Signalling a further potential shift in the region's power balance, the Kurdish-led forces said they might start talks with the Syrian government and Russian Federation to fill a security vacuum in the event of a full United States withdrawal.

The Kurds called on Moscow on Wednesday to facilitate dialogue with Damascus.

The Kurdish fighters say IS launched three suicide attacks against its positions in Raqqa.

Other reports by iNewsToday