Northern Syria: “the biggest ethnic cleansing operation of the 21st Century”


The primary combatants are the SNA, mercenaries supported by Turkey, and the SDF, although it now seems clear how much the absence of US forces has allowed the continuing rather than paused carnage. 300,000 people have been displaced.

And then there’s all that Trumpian disinformation, often repeating Turkish talking points.

Origin of the conflict

Trump has framed this conflict as both having started under Obama and one that’s hundreds of years old.
Facts First: While Trump can argue that Obama’s Syria policy led to the current state of affairs, Obama obviously did not “start” the conflict between Turkey and the Kurds or the conflict between Turkey and the PKK in particular. According to experts, the origins of the conflict between the Kurds and Turkey can be traced to shortly after the First World War.
Full fact check here.

The Kurds and “a different part of Syria”

Trump has at least twice appeared to refer to a 2017 dispute between the Kurds and Iraq as having taken place in a “different part of Syria.”
Facts First: The dispute was over the contested city of Kirkuk, which is in Iraq, not Syria.
Full fact check here.

Trump’s Turkey deal vs. previous administrations

The day a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was announced, Trump claimed people had tried to make that deal with Turkey for 10 years but were not able to. Then he said it had been 15 years or more.
Facts First: The Syrian Civil War is less than 10 years old, Trump made a narrow deal specifically related to Turkey’s offensive this month, and no previous president had sought to offer Turkey such concessionary terms.
Full fact check here.

  • October 20, 2019
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