Turkey Launches Operation Into Northeast Syria

A US soldier stands guard during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al Hashisha along the border with Turkish troops on September 8

As recently as Friday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he had "made very clear" to his Turkish counterpart that the US would not tolerate any unilateral military action in northern Syria by Turkish forces.

The Kurdish-led forces, who have been Washington's most capable partners in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have denounced the major shift in U.S. policy as a "stab in the back".

"The border areas of northeast Syria are on the edge of a possible human catastrophe", SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said on Tuesday.

Yet former U.S. officials still expect the Kurdish forces to be worn down by Turkish tanks - or forced to flee - in the open deserts of Northern Syria. There were no injuries to our forces. "But when monsters attempt to knock down our doors and harm our citizens, we have to respond", Altun wrote.

"We invite @POTUS to come see the progress #SDF & #US made in NE #Syria", he said.

In a tweet, Fahrettin Altun said that Kurdish militants there could either defect or Ankara would have to "stop them from disrupting" Turkey's struggle against the Islamic State militants.

The extensive area of Ankara's planned incursion into Syria could lead to months of military activity that raises concern in the markets, dealers say.

According to Reuters, several explosions were reported in the border town of Ras al-Ain and some blasts were also heard in Tal Abyad.

The Syrian National Army is a Turkey-backed rebel group comprised mainly of factions and fighters from what was known as the Free Syrian Army.

A convoy of buses carrying Syrian rebel fighters and trucks loaded with equipment arrived at the Turkish border town of Akcakale early on Wednesday, a Reuters witness said.

Soldiers with heavy equipment have removed concrete sections of the border and howitzers have been positioned behind earth embankments on the Turkish side of the border near the town of Akcakale.

Turkey's lira slid 0.5%, breaking through what traders called a key support level of 5.85 against the dollar to its weakest level since August.

But Trump has blown hot and cold since his surprise announcement, also insisting the United States had not abandoned its Kurdish allies by pulling out of the area.

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Trump lackey and apologist Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) rebuked dear leader in an interview with Axios on Tuesday night regarding the president's decision to pull troops out of Syria and allow Turkey to invade putting longtime Kurdish allies at risk.

Trump denied he had abandoned the Kurdish forces, the most effective US partners in fighting Islamic State in Syria. The Turkish government has said the Syrian Kurds are linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Ankara, the European Union and the United States regard as a terrorist organization.

The Syrian Kurdish force has pledged to fight back, raising the potential for an eruption of new warfare in Syria.

Turkey is likely to pound the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with artillery fire and airstrikes before beginning a ground incursion.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government has welcomed the upheaval, spying an opportunity to bring the country's Kurds back into its fold.

The top Russian diplomat stressed that both Damascus and the Syrian Kurds have said they are "open to dialogue, and we will do our best to help launch talks on this subject".

The general command of the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, who have borne the brunt of the fight against ISIS, charged that the USA withdrawal from northeastern Syria, and Trump's renewal of his intention to withdraw all USA troops from Syria, amounted to a "stab in the back" to a loyal ally.

"We announce three days of general mobilisation in northern and eastern Syria", it said in a statement, asking all civilians to "head to the border with Turkey to fulfill their duty".

"People are scared. When we used to see USA troops in the streets of Tel Abyad, we would feel safe; they were here to protect us".

Russia's security council said it was important to avoid hindering the peace process in Syria.

Once secured, Turkey wants to resettle the area with 2 million Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey due to the conflict in their home country.

Trump has faced a barrage of criticism, including from close allies in Washington, for appearing to leave the Kurds to their fate. And what of the thousands of Islamic State prisoners being held in Kurdish-run detention centres?

Turkish fighter jets landed at the base, while others wait on the runway ready to take off. "One is to release them... or to kill them".

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