Last week Turkey launched an aerial and ground assault on northern Syria targeting Kurdish-controlled areas.
The offensive began Wednesday, just days after President Trump ordered U.S. troops to fall back from their positions on the Turkish-Syrian border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports dozens of Kurds have been killed so far.
Turkey is claiming the death toll is far higher. The Trump administration has faced widespread criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers for abandoning the stateless Kurds who had helped the U.S. fight ISIS. Turkey is also claiming the assault is needed to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria where Turkey could relocate Syrian refugees who fled over the past eight years of fighting, but the Kurds [and the rest of the world] see the offensive as part of a decades-long attack
by Turkey to crush their attempts at greater autonomy.
The Kurds have been responsible for holding over 10,000 ISIS fighters and their families in detention. While Trump has claimed Turkey will take control of the makeshift jails, there is growing concern many former ISIS fighters will be able to escape during the Turkish assault. At least one Kurdish prison has already been shelled.
What we saw over the weekend was the long-promised invasion by Turkish President Erdoğan. Many people have said, as there is a consensus all around the world and with public opinion, is the consequences of this will be grave. It is not only that it is essentially threatening a Kurdish genocide, it will create and cause the resurgence of ISIS. It will add to the international refugee crisis.
However, in a shift in alliance, Kurdish forces have announced a deal with Damascus that the Syrian regime will send troops to the area, specifically the border. Now this means Turkey a NATO ally will face Syria which is backed by Russia and Iran.
This is disconcerting.