ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria radically realigns the balance of power in the country’s northeast and creates a vacuum which Russia, Turkey and Iran are racing to fill.
With Turkish forces pressing south from the border, the Kurds have invited troops from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Russian-backed government in from the south and the west. Assad’s forces are exploiting the U.S. retreat to seize back resource-rich territory they abandoned years ago.
Area - Caliphate - Islamic - State - Group
The area includes most of the Syrian lands that formed the “caliphate” of the Islamic State group, whose fighters have gone underground but vowed to stage a comeback.
More than 10,000 Islamic State prisoners, including many hardened foreign jihadis whose Western governments refuse to take them back, are in prisons there, and tens of thousands of their family members are in camps.
Summary - US - Withdrawal - Means - Behind
Here is a summary of what the U.S. withdrawal means for those rushing in and those left behind.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF TURKEY’S OFFENSIVE?
President - Tayyip - Erdogan - Refugees - Sunni
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says he wants to settle up to two million Syrian refugees, many of them of them Sunni Arabs, into the region targeted in the operation, territory which is currently controlled by Kurdish-led forces.
Turkish troops and Ankara-backed Syrian rebels have focused in the first week of operations on driving Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters from two major border towns, Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain, about 120 km (75 miles) apart.
Chorus - Criticism - Erdogan - Nothing - Operations
Despite a chorus of global criticism, Erdogan has said nothing will stop operations against Kurdish YPG fighters, considered terrorists by Ankara because of their links to guerrillas waging an insurgency in southeast Turkey.
Erdogan has said Turkey will seize a border strip running hundreds of km (miles) from Kobani in the west to Hasaka in the east and 30-35 km (18 to 22 miles) deep inside Syria.
A Turkish official told...
Wake Up To Breaking News!