180 targets have been hit by Turkey so far in their invasion of Syria. Now entering day 2 of attacks on the country directly following President Trump’s decision to pull US forces out of the area, Turkey’s government is calling this an effort to protect their border and prevent terrorism.
Why Turkey is Moving on Syria
Less than a week after President Donald Trump came under fire for pulling US troops out of Syria with almost no warning, Turkey has stepped into Syria in a big way. The country has long wanted to find and eliminate Kurdish forces who allied with the US fighting ISIS.
According to reports from the White House, after a phone call with Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan, Trump immediately ordered US forces out of the country. Erdogan readily admitted to Trump that he wished to invade, and Trump believed this was the right decision.
The Damage in Syria So Far
This is just day 2, and Turkey’s defense ministry has already said that they have struck 181 “terrorist targets” with both air and artillery forces. Many of these areas are towns that have little access to basic resources, and the residents rely on aid organizations for supplies.
Of those that have lost their lives, the New York Times is reporting that at least 16 of them have been Kurds, the people that sided with the US in the fight against ISIS in exchange for protection from Turkey.
An unknown number of fighters currently with the Syrian Democratic Forces have also lost their lives, and at least 33 more have been wounded.
Wednesday afternoon, roads leading away from Turkey’s borders were reportedly jam-packed with citizens and children fleeing their homes, believing that their towns would soon become a war zone. It’s unclear how much Syria’s government will be able to support and help those who are now effectively homeless until the fighting ends.
The Backlash from Trump’s Decision
President Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria will have lasting and long-term consequences not just for Syria and Turkey, but from the world.
Senator Lindsey Graham, once a vocal supporter of the president, has been aggressively tweeting that Trump has made a terrible mistake in this decision. “NEWSFLASH:” he tweeted last night, “Erdogan and humane do not belong in the same sentence. Worst is yet to come.”
“America is better than this. Please stand up to Turkey, Mr. President.”
One member of the US Special Forces that worked closely with Kurdish troops in Syria told Fox News that for the first time in his entire career, he is “ashamed” of what is happening in his country.