Turkey Launches Invasion into Northern Syria

Richard Scott Howard | SYRIA

On October 9, reports began to come in that Turkish forces crossed the Syrian border and engaged with the Kurdish militias in northern Syria. 

The assault, which began days after President Donald Trump authorized the withdrawal of American troops from the region, started with airstrikes against Kurdish outposts. Turkish troops have also entered the nation east of the Euphrates. Both the airstrikes and the land invasion have caused the Kurdish forces in the region to lament the US retreat. A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led militia in control of northeastern Syria, said that the invasion was causing “a huge panic among people in the region.”

Turkey Launches Operation Peace Spring

Turkish President Erdogan stated that Operation Peace Spring had begun, an attempt by Turkey to purportedly clean out ISIS fighters in the region. However, recent reports have suggested that fighting has broken out between the Turks and the SDF with the SDF pushing the Turkish army back towards the border. 

The invasion drew condemnations from around the globe. Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina and a prominent supporter of US military action around the world, tweeted that he “will lead effort in Congress to Erdogan pay a heavy price”. Other notable world leaders have made similar comments. President Trump today said that the invasion was a bad idea but has yet to announce any response. 

[MORE: Turkey Condemns U.S. Support For Kurds]

There has been talk of kicking Turkey out of NATO. Turkey, which has been a member of the organization since 1952, has not responded to these allegations. French Defense Minister Florence Parly stated that the Turkish military operation is “dangerous because it benefits Islamic State, which we have been fighting for five years. It must stop.” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas of Germany also expressed his concerns that the operation could cause “a further humanitarian catastrophe and further displacement of persons.”

Operation Peace Spring is displacing many citizens of the region.

There are also reports of protests and riots in the region.

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