Kurds Call for Help, Europe Cuts Off Weapons to Turkey in Syria

  • "Our allies had guaranteed us protection ... but suddenly and without warning, they abandoned us in an unjust decision to withdraw their troops from the Turkish border."
  • France and Germany have announced a halt to weapons exports to Turkey.
  • Fierce fighting continues between Turkish fighters and the SDF.

The Kurds, who have faced Turkish attacks in northern Syria, are calling on Americans to assume their moral obligation to help them. They accuse the United States of leaving them alone, despite promises to provide them security. The Kurds, in a statement, also called on the United States to close the area’s airspace for Turkish planes. Meanwhile, France has suspended arms exports to its NATO ally because of Turkish military action.

The 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria, code-named by Turkey as Operation Peace Spring, is an ongoing military operation and invasion conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Turkish-allied opposition Syrian National Army (SNA) against areas under the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“Our allies had guaranteed us protection … but suddenly and without warning, they abandoned us in an unjust decision to withdraw their troops from the Turkish border. We call on our allies to fulfill their duties and assume their moral obligations,” to protect us by “closing the air space to Turkish warplanes,” said in a statement. Earlier, Germany had said it was reducing its arms sales to Turkey.

The fierce battle continues between Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) around the Syrian border area. Turkey says it has captured Rassoul, but the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) disagree. Turkish warplanes are spinning around Ras al-Ain, the city has been subjected to artillery bombardment and intense firing has been heard.

A Turkish-backed rebel spokesman told reporters that Turkey had seized the main road between Tel Aviv and Ras al-Ain and also occupied 18 villages during the advance. The four-day fighting has left at least 30 civilians dead and two million people reported to be homeless. Meanwhile, the pressure is mounting in the United States to prevent Turkey from conducting military operations in Syria’s Kurdish-majority areas.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Asper has warned Turkey of “serious consequences,” while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also expressed the possibility of fresh sanctions. It is understood that Turkey’s military action against the Kurds began after President Trump’s decision to evacuate US troops from northeastern Syria. Critics say President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces effectively gave Turkey a green light for cross-border attacks. President Trump says he wants NATO allies to mediate between Turkey and the Kurds, but Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says military operations will continue.

According to the UN, thousands of people have left their homes and migrated to safer areas in northern Syria following the escalation of attacks by Turkish forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his goal is to create a “safe zone” 480 km along the Syrian border that is free of Kurdish militias and could also be home to Syrian refugees.

According to reporters, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a key ally of the United States in the region, have faced Turkish ground and airstrikes for about 75 miles (120 km) on the Turkish-Syrian border.  According to Turkish news agency Anatolia, the army has confirmed the death of its first Turkish soldier and three others were injured. Dozens of fighters from the SDF and Turkish supporters have been killed. Turkish operations in the Syrian area began on Wednesday, and the Turkish military has recently advanced to the border town of Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyes, after which aid agencies feared the number of migrants could reach millions.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, commonly abbreviated to SDF, HSD, and QSD, is an alliance in the Syrian Civil War composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian/Syriac militias, as well as some smaller Armenian, Turkmen and Chechen forces. The SDF is militarily led by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a mostly Kurdish militia.

Russia and Iran, both allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, both called for an end to the offensive. Iran called for “an immediate halt” to the offensive and demanded Turkish forces withdraw. Russia blamed the chaos on American policymaking and called for dialogue between Turkey and the Assad government. Britain jоіnеd оthеr Eurореаn Unіоn countries іn саllіng оn Turkey tо cease thе operation on Wednesday.  On Thurѕdау morning, Italian Fоrеіgn Mіnіѕtеr Luigi Di Maio саllеd thе оffеnѕіvе “unассерtаblе.”

Bashar Assad does nоt соntrоl the Kurdіѕh-lеd аutоnоmоuѕ rеgіоn іn nоrthеrn Sуrіа. Chіnа said Sуrіа’ѕ tеrrіtоrіаl іntеgrіtу must bе “respected” аnd саllеd оn Turkеу to “exercise rеѕtrаіnt.”

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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