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Turkey’s Invasion of Syria Perpetuates Conflict in the Region

by Brad Thomas

On Oct. 9, Turkey invaded the northern region of Syria that is controlled by an ethnic group known as the Kurds, who are considered allies of the United States.  

Turkey is regarded as an ally of the United States under the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).   

President Trump pulled U.S. soldiers out of Oct. 6 after being involved in the area for multiple years.  

“We interject ourselves into wars, and we interject ourselves into tribal wars and revolutions and all of these things … they’re not the kind of thing that you settle the way we’d like to see it settled,” President Tump told J.D. Simkins with the Military Times. “It just doesn’t work that way. … And it’s time to come back home.” 

Turkey invaded Syria because they see the Kurds, who hold Syrian territory, as a massive security threat. 

According to David Brennan from Newsweek, Turkey called in Operation Peaceful Spring to address the security risk by creating a 19-mile deep safety zone along the border to resolve the issue.  

The conflict began in Syria in 2011 when the Syrian Civil War began and multiple factions started fighting for power: Pro-Government Militias, Islamic Extremists, ISIS, and militias. The factions that are focused on the newer conflict is the YPG and the SDF. These two groups are mostly made of Kurds in Northern Syria.  

The U.S. military, at first, was involved in the conflict indirectly by funding and training some of the Kurd in the ongoing war. With the involvement of ISIS trying to take advantage of the chaos in Syria, the United States became more directly involved in the civil war by putting troops on the ground in 2015.   

The United States desired to make allies to make an impact on the ground. They decided to side with the YPG due to their ability to keep up with ISIS militants.  

The issue with siding with the YPG is due to them having connections to a known terrorist group called the Kurdistan Workers Party, according to Cameron Abadi from Foreignpolicy.com. Turkey is afraid that the YPG and the SDF will join up with the terrorist organization, PPK, and cause terrorist attacks within its borders.  

Due to the invasion, tens of thousands of civilians are being displaced as Turkey’s army moves into the northern region of Syria. The Kurdish civilian militias are also being replaced due to Turkey shelling the area.  

The invasion of Syria also has led to ISIS terrorists being released from the prison camps that were being secured by the Kurds.  

“The Kurds have at least 12,000 ISIS soldiers who were imprisoned during the civil war, while 2500 of them are foreign fighters,” Brennan reported. 

With the Kurds evacuating the area, these terrorists can escape these prison camps and join up with others. The leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has urged these escaped prisoners.  

On Oct. 31, ISIS confirmed Baghdadi’s death, just days after the Trump administration announced an operation to kill him had been successful. 

The U.S. and Turkey have come to an agreement that called for a ceasefire that would allow the displaced Syrian Kurds to evacuate the area.  

The situation in Turkey is still on going as the army pushes into Syria to control the land alongside the border after the end of the ceasefire. 

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