Turkey Syria offensive: Guarding IS prisons no longer a priority, say Kurds
Kurdish forces under attack from Turkey in Syria say they need to focus on protecting their cities.
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceMedia captionThe BBC's Martin Patience explains what's behind the conflictPresident Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from the area effectively triggered the Turkish incursion against the SDF - the main Western allies in the fight against IS.
What did the Kurds say?Fighting on the Syrian border with Turkey has prevented the SDF from securing IS detention camps in areas under its control, senior official Redur Xelil said in a televised statement on Saturday."Guarding IS prisons is no longer a priority. Whoever cares about the secure detention of the prisoners they are welcome to come and find a solution."
Instead, he said, SDF forces would"move to protect our cities and our people".He warned that the Turkish operation was opening the way for IS to regroup."It has revived it and activated its cells in Qamishli and Hassakeh," he said.
What is IS doing in Syria?The comments come after two deadly car bombs in both cities a day earlier, claimed by IS.Five IS members also escaped from a prison in Qamishli amid Turkish shelling on Friday, the SDF said.Image copyrightReutersImage caption
IS said it was behind a deadly car bomb attack in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli on FridaySeparately on Saturday, IS declared a new campaign in Syria, which it said was to avenge its members' detention in Kurdish-run prisons.The SDF says it is currently holding more than 12,000 suspected IS members in seven prisons, and at least 4,000 of them are foreign nationals. The exact locations have not been revealed, but some are reportedly close to the Turkish border.
Two camps - Roj and Ain Issa - holding families of suspected IS members are inside the"safe zone".On Friday the Kurdish-led authorities said discussions were under way on how to move the Ain Issa camp, which had been hit by shelling.Turkey says it will take responsibility for IS prisoners it finds during its offensive.
How is the offensive developing?Clashes on Saturday intensified around Ras al-Ain, amid conflicting accounts over which side was in control of the key border town.Turkey said its military and allied Syrian rebels had captured the town centre, but the Kurdish-led SDF forces denied it had fallen.
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceMedia captionTurkey-backed rebels claimed part of Ras al-Ain on SaturdayRas al-Ain and the town of Tal Abyad are two of the key goals in the Turkish offensive.Elsewhere, Turkey's allies say they have seized strategically important roads 30km away from the border, and captured more than a dozen villages.
The SDF are facing numerous Turkish ground and air assaults along a stretch of the Turkey-Syria border about 75 miles (120km) long.In his statement on Saturday, SDF official Redur Xelil demanded the US help protect the Kurdish fighters by closing air space to Turkish planes, describing it as a moral obligation.
What are the casualty figures?They're rising, with civilians killed on both sides of the border:At least 38 civilians and more than 80 Kurdish fighters killed, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) saysSeventeen civilians killed in southern Turkey, including a Syrian baby, according to Turkish reports
Nearly 50 fighters with the pro-Turkish rebels, known as the Syrian National Army, and one Turkish soldier killedA female Kurdish politician and women's rights activist was among nine civilians killed on a road in northern Syria on Saturday, according to SOHR.
Hervin Khalaf, secretary general of the Future Syria Party, was ambushed south of Tal Abyad in northern Syria, in an attack the SDF blamed on Syrian National Army fighters.The Turkey-backed fighters have denied her killing, saying they had not advanced that far, according to Reuters news agency.
What's the reaction to the operation?Pressure is building on Turkey to halt its operation, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says it will continue.On Saturday, France said it would suspend all weapons exports to Turkey. Germany earlier announced it was reducing its arms sales to the Nato ally.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also warned President Erdogan in a telephone call his operation could"undermine progress made against" IS in Syria.The Kurds have made clear they feel betrayed by Mr Trump's withdrawal of US forces. He now says he wants the US to negotiate a truce between Turkey and the Kurds.Read more: BBC News (UK) »
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I am a citizen of Turkey. I have Kurd friends in Turkey. I am really sorry about Syrian Kurds who have to flee their home. But PKK or YPG killed a lot of people for many years in Turkey. It is still continue in Turkey border. You cannot Guard IS when you are under attack. What is the use of NATO if as a body (excluding America) they cannot protect the Kurds. Maybe it is time for an EU army seperate from American influence. People might not like that but if NATO stands by it is a busted flush.
Turks against Kurds... They r not Black against White... What's the catch? But they could execute the and do the world a favour. BBC should justify the killings of kurdish infants, children, women and elders publishing some reports by pakistani reporters. It's their moral duty. Please remember Turkey is a NATO ally! They are filling a vacuum and securing their border. The new zone will allow the Refugees in Turkey to return to the safe zone. The EU still not delivered on its promise to provide AID to Turkey for taking the Refugees in this conflict.
I thought Trump couldn’t get worse but this week was terrible. Ok. What if in another dimension the powers that be wanted to have an insecure position to continue, in order to justify buying more bombs and weapons? Yeah I guess that the UK or other EU troops should have gone in to take over as trump had been asking them to multiple times and they arrogantly refused and just expected the US to take care of it for them like what a cheek. Now that they didnt send troops its going to be a mess
I don't want them to be released but if I was a kurd I'd say wanna help fight Turkey? And release them. Turkey Well, nobody saw that coming. trumpgenocide Trump and other Western countries need to realise that Erdogan is not really an ally of West. He is a Islamist who supported ISIS and blackmails the West for Billions of dollars by now and again flooding Europe with migrants.
totally predictable. Ypg / Pkk targeted directly civillians in Turkey,killed a 9 month baby,5 children and many others within just 2 days!They love to kill civillans as they doing for decades!Turkey just settling kind a wall to protect its border.. Nothing about this EU protectionist Brussel Broadcast Collaborators
.... aaannndd back to square one. 😕 Just execute them then Our ally in fighting IS was dragged from her vehicle and summarily executed today: We can only hope that the Syrian Government doesn't intervene. Then it will be a whole new problem. Mr Trump has been a bit daft here. Such a coincidence that Trump mentioned last year that if Turkiye was to protect its borders, he would release ISIS prisoners. A good cover up, kurds have to defend their cities? Rubbish. If this was true, 5 million of them would not leave Syria to live in Turkiye.
Ukraine did this by releasing prisoners to fight off & kill innocent people opposed to their presidents killing spree & who was eventually given asylum in Russia Trump will now eradicate Isis for the third time ? The Kurds should get some quid pro quo on trump towers before he sends marines to his newly declared foreign embassy in turkey
What did trump expect, the kurds to just sit and guard prisoners whilst ring bombarded by turkey
Boris Johnson urges Turkey to end offensive against Syrian KurdsPM tells Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of ‘grave concern’ at Turkey’s military incursion 'Pretty please?' As if they’ll listen to him.
US insists 'we're not abandoning Kurds' as Turkey says 'we will not step back'Turkey claims to have killed 49 'terrorists' so far, while six civilians in Turkey and seven in Syria have also died. But yet thousands are redeployed from there and deployed to Saudi Arabia to defend oil instead of life We did though. Just because you go in front of a camera and say things with a title it doesn’t automatically make them true. Also, “Sky News”... it’s defense*.
Isis militants break out of prison in Syria after bombing by TurkeyEscape comes after Trump cleared way for Erdogan to launch offensive on Kurds Oh dear... How stupid. Now what a surprise.. Nice one Donald. You fat orange weapon.
Tens of thousands flee as Turkey steps up assaultInternational clamour increases for a halt to the attack, but Turkey encircles key Syrian towns. Stupid question, I assume they asked them to leave and gave them a date before they started bombing. T. E Lawrence had it right Where are the Brits to defend the Kurds and prevent ISIS from escaping?
James Mattis says Trump's troop pullout has led to 'disarray' in SyriaEx-defense secretary calls resurgence of Isis ‘a given’ and withdrawal will ‘have an impact’ on Kurds’ ability to fight Islamic State Jesus always pulls out. He doesn’t believe in condoms Pullout? Our troops are getting shelled by a NATO “ally” What the hell does he call the last several years of civil war in Syria? Peace and tranquility? Its always been a mess. Turkey is going to stabilize northern Syria so that they can rebuild homes for 1.5 million displaced Syrians who are currently in Turkey.
Betrayal on the border: Kurds fear future as Turkish assault intensifiesIn the Kurdish heartlands in Syria, the sense of abandonment at the withdrawal of US troops is palpable as Erdoğan’s forces claim early successes We know the Turks can't be trusted. Fuсk the Kurds. Turkey’s fight is against terrorists, not Kurds or civilians. A reminder to those who attempt to condemn or threaten Turkey: It is estimated that 1600 to 3800 civilians in Raqqa and 9.000 to 11.000 civilians were killed in Mosul coalition operations. Accountability? (İ.Kalın)