Kurds in Syria brace for war as Turkey says incursion is imminent

Kurdish fighters and veterans protest against Turkish threats in Qamishli

Kurdish fighters and veterans protest against Turkish threats in Qamishli

Smoke billows following Turkish bombardment on Syria's northeastern town of Ras al-Ain in the Hasakeh province along the Turkish border on October 9, 2019.

"We are calling on our friendly and brotherly neighbor Turkey to act with more patience and restraint, and to revise its decision and chosen path", he said. Belgium, Germany and Kuwait are the council members designated to follow the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Kurdish-led forces denounced the United States policy shift as a "stab in the back".

The Kurds also said they want the US -led coalition to set up a no-fly zone in northeastern Syria to protect the civilian population from Turkish airstrikes.

From Akcakale, the red flare of rockets could be seen being fired after dark across the border to Tel Abyad, as well as flames near the town. The sound of explosions could be heard in Turkey.

"People fled and left everything behind", he said in a text message after he reached safety. Turkish troops have been gathering on Turkey's side of the border since Monday night.

Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a USA ally, the Syrian Kurds, and undermining American credibility.

(Reuters) In this Monday, Oct 7, 2019 photo, Turkish-backed forces from the newly regrouped Syrian National Army exercise during military training in preparation for an anticipated Turkish operation targeting YPG, Syrian affiliation of PKK, near Azaz, in north Syria, before Trump's decision to withdraw the USA forces from Syria.

Erdogan will visit the United States on Nov.13 at Trump's invitation, a White House spokesman said. "Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place - and we will hold them to this commitment".

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC told "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday that such a move would be Trump's "biggest mistake" as president. The U.S. -allied Kurdish-led force captured the last ISIS area controlled by the militants in eastern Syria in March.

"When it comes to fighting ISIS it's a bad idea to outsource American national security to Russia, Iran, and Turkey", the senator wrote on Twitter.

Later on Wednesday, Trump said he did not back the Turkish incursion.

The U.S. pullout has prompted concerns that some of those prisoners might escape in the chaos of the Turkish incursion.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the individuals were being held in a secure location but offered no further details.

Speaking in a news conference in Algeria, Cavusoglu said the operation will be carried out in accordance with worldwide law and that Turkey will only target militants in the region.

If the US pulls out all its troops from northeast Syria, the Damascus government - backed by Russian Federation - may try to retake control of much of the region not seized by Turkey.

"Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area", Erdogan added.

World powers fear the action could open a new chapter in Syria's war and worsen regional turmoil. Erdogan said Wednesday that the long-anticipated offensive aims to establish "a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes".

But Syria said it was determined to confront any Turkish aggression by all legitimate means. Turkish troops would team up with Free Syrian Army rebels, Altun wrote, a group that the Central Intelligence Agency covertly armed until 2017. The artillery strikes, which also targeted YPG gun and sniper positions, were aimed at sites far from residential areas, the source said.

Shortly after fighting started, Anadolu news agency said two shells hit the Turkish town of Ceynalipinar and six rockets hit Nusaybin.

He added that Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, had launched what they called "Operation Peace Spring" against Kurdish fighters to eradicate what Mr Erdogan called "the threat of terror" against Turkey.

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