Commander of Syrian Kurds calls on Biden to forestall Turkish invasion

“We imagine that it’s a political and humanitarian accountability of the administration and the president himself defending the cities defending the Kurds and the households of the 12,000 martyrs” that died preventing alongside U.S. troopers in opposition to ISIS in Syria, the final stated.

He known as on the highest ranges of the U.S. authorities to extend strain on Ankara. “To date, statements which have been put out will not be sufficient to cease the Turkish plans to launch new operations in opposition to us.”

His feedback come days after Turkey launched a sequence of lethal airstrikes throughout Iraq and northern Syria in retaliation for the Istanbul assault. Erdoğan promised on Tuesday to “root out” the “terrorists,” referring to the Kurdish militia he holds accountable for the Nov. 13 Istanbul assault that killed six individuals and wounded greater than 80 others. The Kurdish teams have denied involvement.

The overall stated he believes the airstrikes are a precursor to a floor operation. To date, the strikes have killed 18 civilians and 11 Syrian Democratic Forces troopers, he stated. An incursion would devastate the area and additional complicate the disaster in Syria, he stated. ISIS will reap the benefits of the chaos to “regroup and re-surge,” he warned.

There’s additionally a threat to the 900 U.S. troops who’re nonetheless in Syria serving to the SDF struggle ISIS. Among the many Turkish targets this week was a base collectively manned by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the coalition to defeat the Islamic State, which incorporates American troops, in keeping with Sinam Mohamad, the Syrian Democratic Council Consultant to america.

The airstrikes posed a threat to American troops and personnel, U.S. Central Command spokesperson Col. Joe Buccino stated in an e mail.

“We oppose any army motion that destabilizes the scenario in Syria,” Buccino wrote. “These actions threaten our shared objectives, together with the continued struggle in opposition to ISIS to make sure the group can by no means resurge and threaten the area.”

Buccino declined to reveal the placement of the bottom.

“The Division of Protection is deeply involved by escalating actions in northern Syria, Iraq, and Turkiye,” stated Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, noting that latest strikes “immediately threatened the protection of U.S. personnel who’re working in Syria with native companions to defeat ISIS and keep custody of greater than ten thousand ISIS detainees.”

Ryder known as for “fast de-escalation” and condemned “the lack of civilian life that has occurred each in Turkiye and Syria.” However he confused that the Pentagon acknowledges “Turkiye’s reputable safety issues.”

The airstrikes additionally jeopardize the refugee camps and detention facilities holding tens of 1000’s of former ISIS fighters and their households, Mazloum, the Syrian normal, stated. One of many strikes hit very near a detention middle in Qamishli metropolis housing 500 ISIS inmates, he stated. One other hit close to the Al Hol camp, which homes 60,000 ISIS members of the family, killing six SDF guards. Within the aftermath of the assault, a gaggle of ISIS members of the family escaped.

American and Kurdish officers are getting ready for escalation. The U.S. army has been speaking to Turkey “in any respect ranges,” telling them to cease the operation, in keeping with one senior Protection Division official, who requested anonymity to debate a delicate subject.

The overall stated his forces are already seeing Turkish mobilization on the border, together with shifting in reinforcements and tank battalions on Wednesday night. However he stated he believes Turkey wants U.S. and Russian “permission” to maneuver ahead with the operation.

The Turkish operation will doubtless goal Kobani, which is near the border with Turkey, and Manbij, about 60 kilometers to the southwest, and presumably different areas. There have been no American troops there since 2019, however Russian and Syrian troopers stay within the space.

Kobani airfield served as the primary logistics hub for the struggle in opposition to ISIS till the Turkish incursion in October 2019, when Russian forces took management of the airbase.

Bassam Saker, certainly one of three representatives to the U.S. from the Syrian Democratic Council, the political arm of the SDF, wrote a letter to Biden on Wednesday condemning the Turkish assaults and calling on the U.S. to halt the violence.

“Now, america has stepped apart and allowed these assaults to happen, violating years of partnership,” Saker wrote, noting the deaths of a number of SDF troopers and particular forces troops educated by the U.S. “The USA ought to by no means deal with its alliances so carelessly. The place is the condemnation of the United Nations and the worldwide neighborhood? Proper now, we hear solely silence.”

A spokesperson for the Nationwide Safety Council couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

For the reason that summer time, U.S. officers have warned Turkey to not launch an incursion northern Syria, saying that such a transfer can be catastrophic for the counter-ISIS struggle. Prime Protection Division officers visited Turkey this 12 months to convey that message.

“We proceed to induce for de-escalation on all sides and in our conversations,” Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh stated Tuesday.

Gen. Mark Milley, Joint Chiefs chair, spoke by telephone together with his Turkish counterpart, Chief of the Normal Workers of the Turkish Armed Forces Gen. Yaşar Güler, on Wednesday, in keeping with a readout by Milley’s spokesperson.

Turkey launched a large-scale aerial assault round midnight on Saturday, utilizing 70 fighter jets and drones throughout north and east Syria, in keeping with the Rojava Data Middle, a information company run by pro-Syrian Kurd activists. The strikes additionally focused websites round Duhok, Sulaymaniyah and Shengal in Iraq.

The potential for a Turkish floor offensive is paying homage to Operation Peace Spring in October 2019, when Ankara invaded northeastern Syria after Trump ordered American troops to withdraw from the area. Greater than 70 civilians in Syria and 20 in Turkey have been killed, and greater than 300,000 individuals have been displaced.

A peace deal reached that month redrew the borders between Kurdish, Turkish and Russian-controlled areas of northern Syria.