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Ahead of Offensive, Turkey Says it Strikes Syria-Iraq Border

Ahead of Offensive, Turkey Says it Strikes Syria-Iraq Border

McGurk, who resigned shortly after Trump announced USA troops would pull out of Syria late December, said that Turkey does not have the intent, desire, nor the capacity to manage detainees the SDF holds at al Hol camp, which Pentagon officials warn is the "nucleus for a resurgent ISIS".

Turkish forces and Syrian rebel allies will cross the Syrian border "shortly", a Turkish official said early on Wednesday, as a surprise withdrawal of US troops made way for the Turkish incursion.

Taking to Twitter, Trump insisted he was not abandoning Kurdish that fought with US and coalition partners against IS.

The troops had served as a buffer preventing a long-planned attack by Turkey against Kurdish forces, who were crucial in the campaign to defeat Islamic State (IS) but are viewed as "terrorists" by Ankara.

A senior official of the Trump administration said on Monday that about 50 US military personnel stationed in the border area in northern Syria would be redeployed in the face of Turkish incursion to the region.

"There is massive bipartisan opposition in Congress, which you should see as a red line you should not cross".

In a tweet, Fahrettin Altun said that Kurdish militants there could either defect or Ankara would have to "stop them from disrupting" Turkey's struggle against the Islamic State militants.

Concerned that the Kurds face an imminent Turkish onslaught with US forces out of the way, both Republican and Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Monday over the president's decision and what looked like the abandonment of longtime USA goals in Syria.

Now Turkey is saying its invasion of other Kurdish areas will help Syrian Arab refugees return to places that have been taken over by Kurds.

Stratford said buses of Free Syrian Army fighters were also transported from northern Aleppo in Syria across the border into Turkey on Tuesday.

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"Our glorious army is ready for Operation Safe Zone, '" the Turkish Armed Forces tweeted late Tuesday, promising to fight against what it described as Kurdish terrorists, as well as against IS, "with determination".

Turkish forces, together with the rebel Free Syrian Army, will cross the Syrian border "shortly", President Tayyip Erdogan's communications director said early on Wednesday, as a surprise withdrawal of US troops made way for the Turkish incursion.

Russian Federation criticizes "reckless attitude" of U.S.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long threatened to send troops into northeastern Syria to clear the border region of Syrian Kurdish fighters whom Turkey considers a serious security threat.

Retired General Joseph Votel has hit out at President Donald Trump's erratic strategy in Syria, with the four-star general arguing in a new op-ed that the White House's conduct threatens to further destabilize the Middle East and undermine America's relationship with its military partners. On Monday, Erdogan said US troops had started to withdraw after a phone call he had with Trump, adding that talks between Turkish and USA officials on the matter would continue.

A number of Trump allies, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, said the move was "a shot in the arm for the bad guys".

Trump's decision to withdraw troops from northeast Syria has rattled allies, including France, one of Washington's main partners in the USA -led coalition fighting Islamic State.

Also Wednesday, Iranian state television reported a surprise military drill with special operations forces near the country's border with Turkey, in Iran's Western Azerbaijan province.

Mr. Friedman of Defense Priorities says it was never realistic to think that the modest force of US troops remaining in Syria would be able to take on the long list of strategic goals that seemed to be assigned to it.

Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's strongest foreign ally, urged dialogue between Damascus and Syria's Kurds on solving issues in northeast Syria including border security.