Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Turkish lira tumbles through key level as Syria push begins

President Trump speaks to the media as he departs from the White House on Thursday President Trump speaks to the media as he departs from the White House on Thursday
Emmett Howard | 09 October, 2019, 22:14

"Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area", Erdogan said on Twitter.

But Kurdish officials have warned that they would have to divert their forces away from guarding IS prisoners in case of a Turkish assault.

There is a long-standing conflict between the Turkish state and the Kurds who live in Turkey, who constitute 15% to 20% of the population.

Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish presidency's communications director, called on the worldwide community in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday "to rally" behind Ankara, which he said would also take over the fight against the Islamic State group.

Turkish soldiers with tanks and heavy artillery have been amassing along the border, while berms and other fortifications have been constructed, according to video from multiple news outlets.

The lira, which closed on Tuesday at 5.8350, has come under heavy pressure this week since the White House announced US troops would begin withdrawing from the Syrian region near Turkey's border.

Turkey has long threatened to attack the Kurdish fighters whom Ankara considers terrorists allied with a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey.

One of the US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the suspension also impacted USA training of stabilization forces in Syria.

Kurdish leaders in the region called on locals to "move toward areas close to the border with Turkey to carry out acts of resistance", the Times reported. "This decision aids America's adversaries, Russia, Iran, and Turkey, and paves the way for a resurgence of ISIS".

"Turkey is rightfully anxious about its southern borders".

"This attack will spill the blood of thousands of innocent civilians because our border areas are overcrowded", it said. It went on to call on the worldwide community and those countries fighting against ISIS "to carry out their responsibilities" to avoid a "possible impending humanitarian disaster".

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Separately, the group claimed Tuesday that the Turkish military shelled one of its points in northeastern Syria on the border with Turkey in an "unprovoked attack".

In its call for mobilization, the local Kurdish authority known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria also urged the global community to live up to its responsibilities as "a humanitarian catastrophe might befall our people" in the region.

Six years later, the group began an armed struggle for their independence. The Kurds also had a direct interest in defeating ISIS, and they have been playing they own political-military game regarding their relationship with Syrian Arabs.

In Wednesday's attack, IS launched three suicide bombings against Kurdish positions in Raqqa.

On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the country had "completed our preparations and action plan" and was ready to launch a "ground and air operation" east of the Euphrates river, with the goal of establishing "peace" by clearing the region of "terrorists". "Kurds in Syria. should support the Syrian army", state news agency IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying.

Trump has also appeared preoccupied that the United States would have to pick up the bill for the custody and prosecution of detained European Isis fighters, and the care of their families.

In a sign of Washington's disapproval, Turkish forces were removed from planned flights by the US -led military coalition against the Islamic State in Syria, officials said.

Their fate was thrown into question by Trump's announcement that he would withdraw the 1,000 United States special forces in the area, effectively removing the buffer that has stopped Turkey attacking the SDF.

Taking responsibility for ISIS will be a "nightmare" for Turkey, said Yaşar Yakış, who served as the country's foreign minister under prime minister Abdullah Gul between 2002 and 2003.

Trump said Turkey had "committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities" and "ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place", and said Ankara "is now responsible for ensuring all ISIS fighters being held captive remain in prison and that ISIS does not reconstitute in any way, shape, or form".

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