Turkey Invades Syria

Within days of the White House announcement, Turkey announced that its ground forces had invaded northeastern Syria to fight against Kurdish forces. The first reports of casualties indicated at least seven civilians had been killed in the Turkish offensive. Turkey said the purpose of the offensive was to “neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.” Meanwhile, President Trump told reporters that he would do “far more than sanctions” against Turkey if the country didn’t act in the most “humane way as possible.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

The U.S. withdrawal and Turkish incursion into northern Syria has touched off infighting within the Republican party over the U.S. role in the middle east. Republican Rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming tweeted that “News from Syria is sickening. Turkish troops preparing to invade Syria from the north, Russian-backed forces from the south, and ISIS fighters attacking Raqqa.” She also said, “impossible to understand why [Donald Trump] is leaving America’s allies to be slaughtered and enabling the return of ISIS.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Appearing on the Fox News Network’s “Fox & Friends,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said the withdrawal would be one of Trump’s biggest follies and cause ISIS to reemerge in the region. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Graham also said that the move was reminiscent of Barack Obama’s Iraq strategy and represented a “win for ISIS.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Heavy fighting between Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces continued through the first week, with most of the fighting taking place between the towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain. The Kurds had lost 11 villages by mid-week but re-took two of them in overnight attacks. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least ten civilians and 29 SDF fighters had been killed in the attacks. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Pro-Turkish fighters taking part in the incursion executed female Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf, Secretary-General of the Future Syria Party, and at least eight other civilians last week. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “The nine civilians were executed at different moments south of the town of Tal Abyad.” Kurdish officials said Khalef was “taken out of her car during a Turkish-backed attack and executed by Turkish-backed mercenary factions” and that it was “clear evidence that the Turkish state is continuing its criminal policy towards unarmed civilians.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

More Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Europeans and Israelis took to the street to protest the Turkish invasion of northern Syria. One Jewish organizer told Ynet news, “As a Jew, I cannot watch what is happening and remain silent. My daughter just returned from a trip to Poland and we are speaking about ‘never again’.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…