After Trump Abandoned Kurds, Turkish Invasion Raises Fear of Kurdish Genocide & ISIS Resurgence

Turkey has launched an aerial and ground assault on northern Syria targeting Kurdish-controlled areas. The offensive began Wednesday, just days after President Trump ordered U.S. troops to fall back from their positions on the Turkish-Syrian border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports at least 16 Kurds have been killed so far. Turkey is claiming the death toll is far higher. The Trump administration has faced widespread criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers for abandoning the stateless Kurds who had helped the U.S. fight ISIS. Turkey is claiming the assault is needed to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria where Turkey could relocate Syrian refugees who fled over the past eight years of fighting, but the Kurds see the offensive as part of a decades-long attack by Turkey to crush their attempts at greater autonomy. The Kurds have been responsible for holding over 10,000 ISIS fighters and their families in detention. While Trump has claimed Turkey will take control of the makeshift jails, there is growing concern many former ISIS fighters will be able to escape during the Turkish assault. At least one Kurdish prison has already been shelled. To discuss the implications of Turkey’s assault, we speak with Elif Sarican, a Kurdish Women’s Movement activist and anthropologist at the London School of Economics. We also speak with Ertuğrul Kürkçü, honorary chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party in Turkey, known as the HDP. He is a former member of Parliament in Turkey.

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Author: DemocracyNow.org

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