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Turkey is intensifying its military campaign in Syria and the Islamic State is attacking the Kurds


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Join date : 2012-12-21

Turkey is intensifying its military campaign in Syria and the Islamic State is attacking the Kurds Empty Turkey is intensifying its military campaign in Syria and the Islamic State is attacking the Kurds

Post by rocky on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 1:34 am


[size=52]Turkey is intensifying its military campaign in Syria and the Islamic State is attacking the Kurds[/size]

[size=45]Turkey intensified its air strikes and artillery shelling of Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria on Friday, stepping up an attack that sparked warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe and led Republican lawmakers to criticize US President Donald Trump.
[size=45]The Kurds, who wrested vast swathes of northeastern Syria from US-backed Islamic State, say the Turkish offensive could allow the militant group to re-emerge.[/size]
[size=45]In the first major attack since the start of the Turkish military operation, IS on Friday claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in Qamishli, the largest city in the Kurdish-controlled area, despite heavy Turkish bombardment.[/size]
[size=45]The Kurds said five ISIS fighters had escaped from a jail there and foreigners from the group burned a number of tents and attacked guards with sticks and stones in a camp where they were being held.[/size]
[size=45]The incursion began after Trump spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and withdrew US troops fighting ISIS alongside Kurdish fighters. The attack opened a new front in the Syrian civil war, which has raged for more than eight years and drew strong international criticism.[/size]
[size=45]Erdogan dismissed the criticism and said the attack on the Kurdish guerrillas would not stop, regardless of statements made by either side.[/size]
[size=45]The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll since the start of the Turkish military operation exceeded 100. The United Nations said 100,000 people had fled their homes.[/size]
[size=45]In Washington, Trump dismissed accusations that the Kurds had abandoned US allies and said Washington could mediate the conflict.[/size]
[size=45]US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said on Friday that Trump had authorized US officials to draft a new "very big" sanctions against Turkey. Mnuchin said the United States was not applying sanctions at the moment but would do so if necessary.[/size]
[size=45]“These are very strong sanctions. We hope we don't have to use them, but we can paralyze the Turkish economy if we want. ”[/size]
[size=45]US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a press briefing that his country had not abandoned the Kurds and that US officials had urged Turkey to stop the attack, warning that it could "seriously damage" bilateral relations.[/size]
[size=45]Turkish warplanes and artillery on Friday, the third day of the military operation, pounded areas around the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, one of two border towns where the attack was concentrated.[/size]
[size=45]Reuters journalists in the Turkish town of Gilan Pinar heard gunfire inside Ras al-Ain on the other side of the border.[/size]
[size=45]Hundreds of kilometers east of the border, a car bomb exploded outside a restaurant in Qamishli as the city came under heavy Turkish shelling. Kurdish authorities said the blast killed three civilians and wounded nine. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility and said it had targeted Kurdish fighters.[/size]
[size=45]A convoy of 20 armored vehicles carrying Syrian opposition fighters from Gilan Pinar entered Syria on Friday. Some pointed to victory, others grew up and waved opposition flags as they advanced towards the head of the eye.[/size]
[size=45]About 120 km (75 miles) west, a witness said Turkey had resumed shelling near the town of Tall Abyad. Kurdish fighters said it was the most intense fighting there in three days.[/size]
[size=45]Clashes erupted overnight along the border from Ain Dewar on the Iraqi border to Ain al-Arab (Kobani), more than 400 km west. Marwan Qamishlo, spokesman for the SDF, said fighting was taking place along the border.[/size]
[size=45]Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Turkish troops had seized nine villages near Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad.[/size]
[size=45]At least 54 SDF fighters and 42 Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters were killed in the clashes along with 17 civilians, the Observatory said.[/size]
[size=45]Turkey said two of its soldiers were killed. On Friday, Turkish authorities said two people were killed and three wounded by mortar shelling in the border town of Surug, while eight people were killed and 35 wounded in a mortar and rocket attack on the border town of Nusaybin.[/size]
[size=45]Use of refugees as a weapon
Ankara says the aim of the attack is to defeat the YPG, which it considers an enemy because of its links to Kurdish rebels in Turkey. It said it was seeking to establish a “safe area” inside Syria to resettle more than 3.6 million refugees it hosts.[/size]
[size=45]Erdogan said the offensive would continue “until all terrorists retreat southward beyond the 32-km (border) border mentioned by Mr. Trump”.[/size]
[size=45]Erdogan has threatened to send refugees to Europe unless Ankara gets EU support, sparking an angry response from the bloc.[/size]
[size=45]European Council President Donald Tusk wrote on Twitter on Friday: “We will in no way accept refugees being used as a weapon, and exploited to blackmail us.” France said sanctions would be discussed at an EU summit next week.[/size]
[size=45]In the United States, Trump's decision to refrain from protecting the Kurds has drawn Republican criticism.[/size]
[size=45]"We have three options: sending thousands of troops and winning militarily, a major financial blow to Turkey, sanctions, or brokering a deal between Turkey and the Kurds," Trump said on Twitter on Thursday.[/size]
[size=45]“I hope we can mediate,” he added later.
Western countries' rejection of the Turkish offensive has caused a rift within Ankara's NATO alliance. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul that he expected Turkey to show restraint in Syria, while Gavishoglu said Ankara expected "strong solidarity" from the alliance.[/size]
[size=45](Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris, Emma Farge in Geneva, Anton Kolodiazny in Moscow, Jan Stropowski in Brussels and Reuters Correspondents in the Region)[/size]


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