Turkey Begins Military Campaign In Syria Three Days After U.S. Withdrawal
By Bill Galluccio
October 9, 2019
Turkey has begun a military operation in Northern Syria, just three days after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. military forces were pulling out of the region.
"The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched Operation Peace Spring," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted. "Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area."
Turkey considers the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) a terrorist group because they are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been locked in a battle with Turkey for over three decades.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS, says that Turkey is bombing civilian areas, forcing people to flee their homes. The SDF is warning that the attacks are creating an "impending humanitarian disaster" and asked world leaders to implement a no-fly zone over the area to keep Turkish warplanes from striking targets.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu defended the military operation, saying that Turkey's goal is to eliminate terror cells operating in the region.
"Region will be cleared of terrorists, Syria's border security and territorial integrity will be guaranteed, displaced people will be able to return safely to their homes, peace, and safety will prevail in the region," he tweeted.
Photo: Getty Images