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Syria/Iraq update 10/13/2019.. Turkey's incursion into Syria intensifies

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Turkey’s incursion into Syria intensifies

Turkey says it has taken control of the town of Ras al-Ain in northeastern Syria on the fourth day of its military operations there.

Turkey’s Army and Turkish-Backed Syrian Militia Enter Syrian Town Tel Abyad

Clashes continue in Syria’s Tal Abyad countryside amid Turkish offensive

FarsNews Agency – 14 Villages Seized by Turkey, Ankara-Backed Militants in Northeast Syria

Turkey’s military claimed that 14 Syrian villages have so far been seized from Kurdish fighters as part of its military operation in Northeast Syria, as Turkish military operation on the Syrian territories continued for the 4th day on Saturday.

The Ankara-backed militants also took over the strategic M4 highway in Northern Syria following heavy clashes between fighters and Kurdish forces.

SANA also reported that following the escape of Kurdish militias, the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants cut off Hasaka-Aleppo international highway.

It comes hours after a spokesman for the Ankara-backed militants claimed that Turkish forces and allied militias have laid siege on two border towns in Northeast Syria held by the Kurdish fighters after seizing several villages in the vicinity of the towns.

Youssef Hamoud stated on Thursday that Ras al Ain and Tel Abyad were now surrounded after the Turkish Army aided by Ankara-backed fighters seized several villages around the the two towns. The two towns are among the prime objectives of the Turkish military campaign against Kurdish fighters.

Turkey’s Defense ministry also announced that the number of Kurdish fighters killed since the start of the military operation in Northern Syria has risen to 399.

“The overall number of PKK/PYD-YPG terrorists that have been neutralized during successfully ongoing Operation Peace Spring to the East of the Euphrates is 399,” the defense ministry said in statement.

But, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday the death toll among Kurdish fighters battling the Turkish offensive has risen to 74, most of whom have been killed in the Tel Abyad area.

Turkey intensified its air and artillery strikes in Northeast Syria on Friday in an offensive against Kurdish militia that has raised the prospect of a humanitarian disaster.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced from the area due to the bombardment, acording to local and international organizations, while tens of civilians killed and wounded in recent days.

On Friday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in a statement claimed they killed 262 Ankara-backed militants in the past three days, including Turkish soldiers.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed on Friday that Turkey will not halt its operation in Northern Syria, despite threats from the international community, including the United States.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, in a telephone call with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, called on Ankara to halt its military operation in Syria, saying the offensive threatens progress in combating ISIL (also known as ISIS or Daesh) and risks harm to American troops.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also stated that President Donald Trump had authorised US officials to draft “very significant new sanctions” to target Turkey after the launch of the offensive but added that they were not “activating” the measures at this time.

“These are very powerful sanctions. We hope we don’t have to use them, but we can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to,” Mnuchin told reporters at the White House on Friday.

The European Union has also called on Turkey to end its military operation in Syria’s North as individual member states have vocally condemned the offensive, and intends to address the situation, as well as the possible introduction of sanctions on Ankara next week.

Also, the Council of the League of Arab States on Saturday will hold an emergency meeting at the level of foreign ministers to discuss the situation around the Turkish military operation in Northern Syria.

Turkish army forces began ground operations in Northeastern Syria, and crossed into the country’s territories on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River, hours after kicking off a major military operation against Kurdish militias in the war-torn country on Wednesday.

Turkey had launched two operations in Northern Syria. The first offensive dubbed “Euphrates Shield” began in August 2016 to stop the advance of Kurdish militants. Then in January 2018, Turkish military forces launched another cross-border military operation inside Syria, code-named “Operation Olive Branch”, with the declared aim of eliminating militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Northern Syria, particularly the Afrin region.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syria branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

Damascus has reiterated that Turkey and US military presence in Syria is illegal and any foreign troop in Syria is regarded as an occupying force and the Syrian government has the right to take all the needed measures to confront it.


Russian journalist Олег Блохин published a video from the city of Manbij We are in Manbij, and they are also too Syrian-American agreement..Syrian Army is preparing to enter Manbij

A field source confirmed the arrival of major Syrian Army in the surroundings of Manbij north of Aleppo with the aim of spreading inside the city and receiving points and areas under the control of the SDF militia.

According to the source ” these actions are done by an agreement reached between Russia and Syria on the one hand and between Russia and US on the other..

“the agreement includes the deployment of Syrian army units with their heavy and medium weapons in the city of Manbij and the raise of the Syrian flag above the government centres inside the city, its entrance and outside”. According to the source “the city of Manbij became free of Kurdish leaders”

FarsNews Agency – Syrian Army to Seize Kurdish-Held Town in Aleppo

The Syrian military is reportedly poised to take over Manbij from Kurdish militants in an attempt to prevent the Northern city’s fall to the Turkish army.

Turkish army forces have begun ground operations in Northeastern Syria, and crossed into the country’s territories on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River, hours after kicking off a major military operation against Kurdish militias in the war-torn country on Wednesday. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced from the area due to the bombardment, acording to local and international organizations, while tens of civilians killed and wounded in recent days.

A source told Sputnik news agency on Saturday that Syrian government forces will enter Manbij in Aleppo Province under an agreement reached between Russia and Syria on the one side and Russia, the US and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the other.

The deal includes the deployment of Syrian army units with heavy and medium weapons in Manbij, where they would raise the national flag over government buildings as well as entrances to the city, he revealed.

The Syrian army build-up in Manbij is meant to prevent the invasion of the city by Turkish forces and their allied militants, who have been attacking Syria’s Northeast over the past few days. Earlier on Saturday, the US reportedly withdrew its last military equipment from Manbij.

Manbij was liberated from the ISIL (ISIS or Daesh) terrorist group in 2016. Since then, it has been controlled by Washington-sponsored SDF, led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Damascus has censured Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest remarks concerning his keenness to protect Syrian people and their rights as far from reality, emphasizing that the Damascus government will respond to Ankara’s offensive into the Northeastern part of the country through all available legal means.

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has also attacked Kurdish fighters, saying they had betrayed their country. He accused US-backed Kurdish militants of following a separatist agenda that gave Turkey a pretext to violate his country’s sovereignty.

The Turkish military had launched two cross-border incursions in Northern Syria, namely “Euphrates Shield” in August 2016 and “Olive Branch” in January 2018 with the declared aim of eradicating Kurdish militants and ISIL terrorists near Turkey’s borders.

Addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in late September, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem lashed out at Turkey for providing “terrorists with all forms of support, including weapons that are more sophisticated”, stating that Ankara’s action undermines all agreements reached during the Astana talks in Kazakhstan.

“If Turkey is truly committed to the security of its borders and the unity of Syria, as it claims, it must choose whether to respect the Astana understandings and the bilateral agreements on counter-terrorism to secure the borders and to withdraw its forces from Syria, or to be the aggressor and the occupier – and to face the consequences,” he noted.

Muallem stated that Syria is resolved to rid the entire Arab country of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants.

In a recent interview with Al-Mayadeen television news network, the top Syrian diplomat said “every inch” of the Syrian territory will be liberated from terrorists very soon.

American Patrol this morning near the Syrian city of Qamishli!

Turkish Military Harassing U.S. Troops And Attacking Civilians Fleeing Their “Safe Zone”

IS fighters escaping detention due to Turkish offensive, Kurds say, warning more will follow

“Turkish Military Publicly Executing Captured Kurdish Fighters!”

Funeral held for Kurdish politician purportedly killed by Turkey-backed fighters in Syria

Viral video used to vilify Turkish forces called out for being misleading

President Erdogan says YPG launches attacks from places of worship

Fraught Relationship: US undecided whether Kurds are allies or not worth fighting for

Trump defends decision to pull US forces out of Syria

Defense Secretary Esper defends Trump’s removal of troops from Northern Syria

FarsNews Agency – US to Pull Out 1,000 Troops from Northern Syria Amid Turkish Offensive

The US army is evacuating around 1,000 troops from Northern Syria “as safely and quickly as possible”, Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated, days after President Donald Trump opened the door for Ankara’s cross-border attack on regions held by Kurdish militias whom Washington called an ally.

“In the last 24 hours, we learned that [the Turks] likely intend to extend their attack further South than originally planned, and to the West,” Esper told CBS “Face the Nation” in an interview airing on Sunday.

“We also have learned in the last 24 hours that the … [the Syrian Democratic Forces] SDF are looking to cut a deal, if you will, with the Syrians and the Russians to counterattack against the Turks in the North,” he added.

Esper said the troops remaining in the country were caught between Turkish forces and the SDF.

“And so we find ourselves, we have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” Esper said, adding, “So I spoke with the president last night, after discussions with the rest of the national security team, and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria.”

Asked if the US had the authority to fire back, Esper warned that American troops “have the right to self defense and we will execute it if necessary.”

Around 50 US troops withdrew on Monday from the border towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain, which were the first targets of the Turkish offensive in Northern Syria.

On Sunday, American troops withdrew from another town in Syria as Turkish-backed militants pushed deeper inside Syrian territory, seizing positions along a major highway that serves as the US military’s main supply route into Syria — potentially cutting off American troops further West, according to a US official.

Ain Issa, located South of the Turkish border, served as the headquarters of the Kurds in Northeast Syria and owes its significance to its position beside the important M4 highway, which runs across Northeastern Syria from the Iraqi border. It is the main supply route in and out of Syria for the 1,000 US forces deployed in the region.

The Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced via its Twitter account that Ankara-backed militants have seized control of Syria’s M4 highway, some 30-35 kilometres (19-22 miles) inside Syrian territory, referring to the main road that runs parallel to the Turkish border in Northeast Syria.

As Ankara-backed militants closed in on Sunday, the small number of US troops based in Ain Issa, 20 miles South of the Turkish border, were relocated to other bases in Syria, the official told The Washington Post.

Turkey-supported militias have now set up checkpoints on the highway near Ain Issa, potentially cutting off American troops in bases to the West, in Manbij and Ein Al-Arab (Kobani), from the bulk of the US force further East, Kurdish and US officials stated.

Ain Issa is the third town from which US troops have withdrawn since Washington announced that the United States would not stand in the way of a Turkish invasion of Northeast Syria.

The SOHR reported that the US army has informed the SDF command that it also is preparing to start an immediate pullout from all positions and bases in the towns of Manbij and Ein Al-Arab and nearby regions.

The move comes a week after Trump announced the repositioning of several dozen American troops embedded with Kurdish forces in Northern Syria. The decision was branded an open betrayal by Trump’s critics, as well as, some of his long-time supporters.

Trump has defended his decision in the face of mounting criticism, acknowledged the Kurds’ role in the ISIL (known as ISIS or Daesh) fight but stressing that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so”.

“It is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Trump said.

“We are 7,000 miles away,” he added, claiming that the United States will crush ISIL again “if they come anywhere near us!”

As US sped up the pullout on Sunday, President Tayyip Erdogan stated that Turkey’s military and Ankara-backed militants will advance 30-35 km (19-22 miles) into Syrian territory in their offensive against Kurdish militias and they have already seized control of the town of Ras al Ain.

He noted the Turkish-led fighters had also besieged the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad. Later on Sunday, the Ankara-backed militants occupied strategic Kurdish-held town of Tel Abyad.

The Turkish leader stressed that threats of sanctions and arms embargoes by Western powers would not stop Turkey’s military offensive against Kurds in Syria.

Germany and France have joined Netherlands and Norway to cease all weapons sales to Turkey.

A Kurdish commander has reportedly told an American diplomat on Thursday that the United States is “leaving us to be slaughtered”, days after Washington withdrew troops from Northern Syria.

CNN reported Saturday that Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi told William Roebuck, the Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, “You have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered.”

“You are not willing to protect the people, but you do not want another force to come and protect us,” Kobani told the US envoy, according to CNN, which obtained an internal readout of the meeting.

“You have sold us. This is immoral,” he added.

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    • truck driver

      Turkey is practicing their religion killing people

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