Creating a safe zone

Turkey has accepted Trump’s green light to invade northern Syria.

Turkish warplanes have bombed parts of north-eastern Syria at the start of an offensive which could lead to conflict with Kurdish-led allies of the US.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was to create a “safe zone” cleared of Kurdish militias which will also house Syrian refugees.

The Kurds – key US allies in defeating IS in Syria – guard thousands of IS fighters and their relatives in prisons and camps in areas under their control and it is unclear whether they will continue to be safely detained.

Turkish ground forces have been massing on the border. The offensive was launched just days after President Donald Trump controversially withdrew US troops from northern Syria, a decision announced after a phone call with Mr Erdogan that sparked widespread criticism at home and abroad.

I’m sure Trump knows what he’s doing.

President Erdogan says this is the beginning of Operation Peace Spring. There is no doubt that for the Syrian civilians who are just across the border this is going to be seen as another round of battling in an agonisingly long war.

The Kurdish forces have emphasised almost frantically in the last few days that the hard-won gains in their long battle against IS are now being put at risk. The SDF have lost an estimated 11,000 fighters in battling IS. They succeeded with American help.

But they point out, for example, that they may have to withdraw their forces from prisons where they are holding IS fighters or from cities that have been liberated from IS. The Kurds are basically saying to the West: the war that we fought on your behalf is now at risk because of what Turkey wants to do.

Yes but Trump said it was okay. I’m sure he¬†knows what he’s doing.

2 Responses to “Creating a safe zone”

Leave a Comment

Subscribe without commenting