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Turkey Attacks Northeast Syria

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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10 Oct 2019 (All day)
Turkey Attacks Northeast Syria
Military forces around the Middle East were on high alert Thursday morning following a large-scale attack on northeastern Syria by Turkish forces. Iranian troops held unscheduled drills on their side of the Iran-Turkey border in an apparent warning to Ankara while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that current events indicated Israel must be prepared for the possibility of fighting another major war without the assistance of allies. Addressing a ceremony on Mount Herzl Thursday morning to honor the memory of Israeli soldiers who fell in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he said “We do not aspire to be 'a nation that dwells alone,' but that is how we were forced to stand at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War. As in 1973, also we very much appreciate the United States' important support, which has greatly increased over the years, and also the United States' enormous economic pressure it is exerting on Iran.” But, he added, “we always remember and apply the basic principle that guides us: Israel will defend itself, by itself, against any threat.”

“Time after time Iran tries to attack us,” he said, “and therefore we must stand ready to protect ourselves against this danger.”

Meanwhile, reports indicated that Kurdish fighters had blunted the Turkish advance despite being highly outgunned and outnumbered. However, dozens of border villages are reportedly under heavy Turkish bombardment and many analysts predicted that they would soon be overwhelmed. "They will pay for this,” a Kurdish fighter told Reuters. “Ultimately we may lose (that) area, which seems like it will be the case, but that doesn't mean we will just give up and retreat."
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Elsewhere, Turkish Ambassador to the UN Feridun Sinirlioglu wrote a letter to the Security Council in which he declared that “As has been the case in its previous counter-terrorism operations, Turkey’s response will be proportionate, measured and responsible. The operation will only target terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons vehicles and equipment. All precautions are taken to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population."
 
Here is a podcast which gives some insight into the current situation in Syria and Turkey



In related news, reports surfaced throughout the week that Iran is mobilizing large numbers of paramilitary police to deploy into neighboring Iraq for the purpose of assisting the Baghdad regime to suppress an unprecedented wave of violent street protests. Although protests had largely diminished by Wednesday, the Iranian forces remained mobilized and some units were reportedly moving into position to cross the border should the clerical regime in Teheran order them to do so.

Here is a short podcast giving some more insight into this story



Over 100 people were killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in several Iraqi cities in recent days. The violence was publicly denounced by several world governments while rights groups lamented the fact that although a fragile calm has returned to Iraqi cities internet access has not and so the possibility exists that suppression tactics by Iraqi security forces and/or Iranian proxy militias might be continuing with little hope for holding those responsible accountable.

 

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