Hundreds Reported Dead As Turkey Continues Its Attack On U.S.-Allied Kurds
Thousands have fled their homes and hundreds have been killed in northern Syria as Turkish forces enter their third day of attacks on U.S.-allied Kurds in the region.
Reuters reported that Turkey's Defense Ministry said 228 Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) members have been killed so far. Kurdish forces have reported that nine civilians have been killed as well. The offensive began earlier this week after President Donald Trump told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he would order U.S. armed forces in northern Syria to step aside.
Following public outrage over the decision, coming from both sides of the aisle, Trump later said he would punish Turkey with sanctions should Erdogan cross a line during its incursion — though he failed to stipulate what constituted that line.
Turkish officials appear unphased by Trump’s threats, however.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, "If there is any measure taken against us, we will retaliate and respond in kind," adding that "nothing will come of these sanctions."
The SDF have been allies of the U.S. in the fight against ISIS in Syria since 2014, Reuters noted, and currently hold thousands of ISIS militants.