- Germany and France: no arms to Turkey. Di Maio: we will ask for EU embargo. Trump: sanctions in Ankara
- Di Maio: enough arms to Turkey
- The conflict in Syria. Germany blocks arms sales to Ankara
- Syria, Turkey announces "liberation" Ras Ain but the Kurds deny it
- The attack on the Kurds in Syria: the first Turkish soldier died, thousands of civilians fleeing
ShareOctober 13, 2019
At least one foreign journalist was killed today and others were injured in an artillery bombardment by the Turkish army in northeastern Syria. Sources in the Qamishli area report this, stating that there are no definite indications about the reporter's nationality.
According to sources, the journalist was on a minibus with other foreign colleagues not far from the area of the Turkish offensive front. There are reports of at least two other foreign journalists killed in the same raid, but there are no confirmations.
Fears for the fate of 10,000 displaced persons
About 10,000 displaced Syrians, including relatives of ISIS jihadists, gathered in the Ayn Issa camp, between Raqqa and the Turkish border are exposed to the Turkish military advance and the militias co-opted by Ankara. This was reported this morning by the National Observatory for Human Rights in Syria, which states that the Kurdish-Syrian police, known as Asayesh, abandoned the task of maintaining security around the refugee camp, effectively leaving the displaced persons to their fate.
The Kurds: 800 ISIS affiliates escaped
Syrian Kurds say nearly 800 ISIS affiliates have fled the camp, where the Turkish bombing has begun. Among the 12,000 people present at Ayn Issa, there are wives and widows of ISIS fighters with their children. The semi-autonomous administration of the Kurdish region said that the detainees attacked the guards and overwhelmed the fences. "The Ayn Issa camp is now out of control," the Kurds said.
An activist for women's rights among civilians killed yesterday
There is also a women's rights activist among the 9 civilians murdered in cold blood yesterday by pro-Turkish militia in northeastern Syria. According to reports from the Guardian, Hevrin Khalaf, 35, general secretary of the Syrian Future Party, and his driver, were shot dead on a highway after being taken from their cars by militias backed by Turkey, Kurdish forces report. The killings of all 9 civilians were filmed and the video broadcast online.
"The nine civilians were executed at different times south of the city of Tel Abyad," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Guardian reported. In the video broadcast on the web, killers can be heard shouting insults as they shoot civilians with their weapons. US officials confirmed that the footage is authentic.
Khalaf, was "dragged out of her car during a Turkish-backed attack executed by Ankara-backed mercenary militias," the political arm of the Kurdish-led Syrian democratic forces (SDF) said in a statement. "This is clear evidence that the Turkish state is continuing its criminal policy towards unarmed civilians," he added.
Khalaf was the general secretary of the party for the future of Syria. Mutlu Civiroglu, an expert in Kurdish politics, described his death as a "great loss". "He had a talent for diplomacy, he always participated in meetings with Americans, French and foreign delegations."
UN: risk 400 thousand displaced persons
The Turkish attack on Kurdish positions in north-eastern Syria has forced 130,000 people to flee their homes, but the number could triple very soon. It is the alarm launched by the UN. "We are entering a scenario in which there could be up to 400,000 displaced people inside Syria and through the affected areas," says Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN office for humanitarian coordination (OCHA), the international media report.
Stop arms in Ankara from 5 EU countries
Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Germany and France, meanwhile, announced the halt of military supplies to Ankara, Italy not yet. "On Monday at the EU council of foreign ministers, as a government, we will demand that the whole EU block the sale of arms to Turkey," said Di Maio.
Let's see, in detail, how many and which weapons Italy has sold, so far, to Turkey.
Erdogan's reply: "The arms embargo will not stop us"
The embargo on the sale of arms will not stop Turkey's intervention in northeastern Syria, Turkish President Erdogan replied today. "After we launched our operation, they threatened to impose economic sanctions and an embargo on the sale of weapons. But those who think they can stop Turkey with these threats are very wrong," he warned in a speech broadcast on TV. of Turkish State.
"We will penetrate for 30-35 km, killed 490 terrorists"
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke about the intervention in the north-east of Syria: "Our army will penetrate 30 to 35 kilometers deep into Syrian territory. At the moment, I understand that 490 JPG terrorists have been killed. L 'Operation' Peace Source ', which we take responsibility for, is aimed at destroying the Ypg terrorist positions, not against the Kurds who are our brothers, we want to consolidate the territorial integrity of Syria, "said Erdogan.
Merkel calls Erdogan: "Stop the attack immediately"
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a phone call she had today with the Turkish leader, asked Erdogan to stop the offensive. The DPA news agency reported, citing a government spokeswoman: the chancellor ruled for "an immediate end to the military operation". The agency adds that regardless of the justified interests of Turkey, the action risks destabilizing the region and strengthening ISIS.
The Pope calls for dialogue: seeking effective solutions
"My thoughts go once again to the Middle East," the Pope said today at the Angelus. In particular, "to the beloved and tormented Syria, from where dramatic news come again about the fate of the populations of the north-east of the country, forced to abandon their homes because of military actions: among these populations there are also many Christian families" . "To all the actors involved and to the international community, please, I renew the appeal to engage with sincerity, with honesty and transparency, on the path of dialogue to seek effective solutions".
The situation on the field
The Turkish armed forces, on the fifth day of the offensive in the north-east of Syria, claim to have conquered the town of Suluk, considered a strategic crossroads 10 km from the border. The Anadolu news agency reported. Ankara troops claim to have "freed" Suluk from the Kurdish formations of the YPG. But a Kurdish source instead told the PA that the fighting is still ongoing.
The Syrian observatory for human rights, a body based in London, has made it known instead that the Kurdish Ypg militias have inflicted defeats on the free Syrian army (Els), an ally of Turkey, in the north of Syria, in the Ras area al ayn. The latter is an important center in the area of which Ankara wants to take control east of the Euphrates River, which came under Turkish control yesterday. However, as reported by the observatory, Kurdish Ypg militias have launched a counteroffensive today, regaining control of some villages. A counter-attack indirectly confirmed by the Ankara Ministry of Defense, which through a press release announced that the Turkish army has control of 14 villages and the town of Suluk, conquered this morning, while last night it turned out that Els had penetrated into other 4 villages (18 in total), all in the Ras Al Ayn area.
Ankara: "Free from the Kurds 42 villages". The Turkish forces conquer Tel Abyad
Ankara's Ministry of Defense has announced that 42 villages have been "freed from terrorists" by Ypg Kurdish militias. It was also reported that 25 Ypg militiamen surrendered to the Turks. These are population centers located near the cities of Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn, both abandoned by US marines last Monday.
Subsequently, the Turkish forces and Syrian allies conquered the city of Tel Abyad. This was stated by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. This is the largest city so far conquered by the Turkish forces since the beginning of their offensive.
Risk confrontation between US-pro-Ankara militia troops
US troops could be forced into a confrontation with pro-Turkish militias fighting in the north-east of Syria, where the situation on the ground is "rapidly deteriorating": this is what a "US source" that has requested anonymity, adding that American troops, which in these days have also been targeted by artillery blows from the Turkish forces, risk finding themselves isolated.
US accuses: "From Turkey deliberate attack on our troops"
The Turks knew of the American presence in northeastern Syria when they fired artillery shells. And the attack may have been wanted. American officials report it to the Washington Post, raising the hypothesis that Turkey has voluntarily bombed near the American outpost with the probable goal of removing US troops from the border. Brett McGurk, the former special envoy of Barack Obama and Donald Trump in the campaign against ISIS, believes that the Turkish attack "was not a mistake".
"Turkey wants us away from the border region. Based on the facts available, the shots fired were a warning to a known location, not shots fired inadvertently," adds McGurk. What happened with the Turkish coups near the American post is far more serious than what has been leaked so far, reports the Washington Post. The United States has communicated in detail to Turkey where US troops are.
Trump: very clever not to fight along the border
"Very clever not to be involved in the violent confrontation along the Turkish border, for a change. Whoever led us into the wars in the Middle East still wants to fight. He has no idea of the bad decision he made. Why don't they ask for a declaration of war?" . The president of the United States, Donald Trump, wrote this on Twitter about the Turkish offensive in northern Syria. "The Kurds and the Turks have been fighting for many years. Turkey considers the PKK the worst terrorist of all. Others would like us to go and fight for this or that part. Let them do it! We are closely monitoring the situation. Wars without end!", he wrote again.
Pentagon: US withdraws up to 1,000 soldiers from the North East
The head of the Pentagon Mark Esper announced today the withdrawal of up to 1,000 US soldiers from Northern Syria, by order of Trump, citing on CBS an "unsustainable situation" for the troops that "could be in the middle" of the dispute between Kurds and Turks. President Trump "ordered us to start a deliberate withdrawal of US forces from northern Syria," Mark Esper told Fox News.
The US president: ready for harsh sanctions
"I have clearly told Turkey that if they do not keep their commitments, including the protection of religious minorities, we will impose very harsh sanctions," said American President Donald Trump, pointing out that US troops cannot stay in Syria for another 15 years "by controlling the border with Turkey when we can't control ours ". Trump points out that his administration defends Christians and religious minorities in Iraq and around the world.