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Hostilities and human displacement continue in Syria despite the Turkish “pause”

Trump’s complete and clueless capitulation to Turkey and the associated betrayal of the Kurds continues as a “pause” in combat operations is to last 120 hours prior to the meeting in Sochi between Erdogan and Putin. 300,000 people are now said to be displaced.

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 O’Connor, Tom (17 October 2019). “U.S. says it made a “ceasefire” deal in Syria, Turkey and Kurdish forces reject the claim”. Newsweek.

Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee leaving a closed-door briefing on Syria warned Thursday that the damage caused by a U.S. military withdrawal and subsequent Turkish invasion may be “irreversible.”

[…]

The committee received a classified briefing from Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley as Congress grapples with how to respond to President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, paving the way for Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish forces.

thehill.com/…

If implemented, the deal would achieve all the main objectives Turkey announced when it launched its assault on October 9: Control of a strip of Syria more than 30km deep, with the SDF forces obliged to pull out. The latter were US allies in the years’ long fight against Islamic State.

Republican and Democratic senators accused Trump of having betrayed the Kurdish allies who were vital in fighting Islamic State group militants, of brushing aside the humanitarian costs of Turkey’s invasion and of being outwitted by Ankara.

It was unclear what if any damage came from the shelling heard on Friday.

Kurds say will refuse to live under Turkish ‘occupation’

The fighting Friday came even after the commander of Kurdish-led forces in Syria, Mazloum Abdi, told Kurdish TV late on Thursday: “We will do whatever we can for the success of the cease-fire agreement.”

But one Kurdish official, Razan Hiddo, declared that the Kurdish people would refuse to live under Turkish “occupation”.

It is still unclear whether the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will comply with the agreement, which would leave Turkish forces in charge of a swathe of territory that the Kurds once held with US military support.

Kurdish fighters have already been driven out of much – but not all – of a swath of territory that stretches about 100 kilometres along the middle of the Syrian-Turkish border, between Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad.

www.france24.com/…

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