Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Syria Kurds call up civilians for defence against Turkey

Local | 2019-10-09 10:59:02
Syria Kurds call up civilians for defence against Turkey
 The Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria called up civilians Wednesday to defend the region against a feared Turkish assault, believed to be imminent.

"We announce three days of general mobilization in northern and eastern Syria," it said in a statement, urging all civilians to "head to the border with Turkey ... to resist during this delicate historical moment."

It also called on Kurds in Syria and abroad to protest against Ankara's planned offensive.

Ankara said on Tuesday it would "shortly" begin an offensive into northern Syria, as it sent more armoured vehicles to the border.

Turkey's communications director, Fahrettin Altun, wrote in the Washington Post that Kurdish forces can either "defect" or Turkey will "have no choice but to stop them from disrupting our counter-Islamic State [Daesh] efforts."

U.S. President Donald Trump has blown hot and cold since a surprise announcement Sunday that Washington was pulling back 50 to 100 "special operators" from Syria's border with Turkey.

After appearing to give a green light to the Turkish invasion, he later threatened to "obliterate" Turkey's economy if it went too far.

He also insisted the United States had not abandoned its Kurdish allies by pulling forces out of the area.

On Wednesday, the Kurdish administration said it would hold its US ally and the whole international community responsible for any "humanitarian catastrophe" that unfolds in the territory under its control.

Kurdish forces took heavy losses in the U.S.-backed campaign against Daesh (ISIS) in Syria which they spearheaded.

In March, they declared the territorial defeat of Daesh after overrunning the jihadists' last redoubt in the village of Baghouz in eastern Syria.

Ankara strongly opposed Washington's support for Kurdish forces in Syria citing their links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has fought a deadly insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

Turkey has already carried out two cross-border offensives into Syria, including one in 2018 that saw it and allied Syria rebels overrun the majority-Kurdish Afrin enclave in the northwest.

AFP
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