Ayatollah Khatami warns Turkey of ‘quagmire’ in northern Syria

Shelling near Akcakale Sanliurfa inside Syria taken from the Turkish side of the border on Thursday morning

Thousands of people have fled their homes, piling trucks and cars high with their possessions, in a grim echo of how they sought refuge from the Islamic State only a few years before. Turkish and SDF forces exchanged shelling in Qamishli among other places, the SDF's Qamishlo said. But their claims could not be independently verified and the situation on the ground was hard to assess.

Furthermore, unlike the northwestern region of Syria, where the battles are nearly over, the fight in the northeastern areas has just begun with Turkey's military operation against the Kurdish groups that Ankara considers a threat to Turkish national security. If you try to label this operation as an invasion, it's very simple: "we will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way", threatened the Islamist leader, prompting a round of applause from his audience.

Turkey's state-run news agency said Turkey-allied Syrian opposition fighters cleared two villages across the border in Syria, Yabisa and Tel Fander, and entered them.

"Turkey wouldn't consciously do anything that would cause the release of ISIS (another name for the IS group) fighters", Eissenstat said.

In a letter to the Security Council on Wednesday, Ankara said that the operation was being conducted within the framework of "the right of self-defense as outlined in Article 51 of the UN Charter, to counter the imminent terrorist threat, to ensure Turkey's border security, to neutralize terrorists".

Turkey stepped up its air and artillery strikes on Kurdish militia in north-eastern Syria on Friday, escalating an offensive that has drawn warnings of humanitarian catastrophe and turned Republican politicians against US President Donald Trump.

USA troops pulled back from the area, paving the way for Turkey's assault.

Erdogan wants to create a buffer between the border and territory controlled by Syrian Kurdish forces, who have links with Turkey's own Kurdish rebels.

Islamic State militants may flee and take up arms again as Kurdish militias fighting them retreat amid the Turkish ground offensive, Vladimir #Putin has said.

The Kurds, who have been America's only allies in Syria fighting the Islamic State group, stopped on Thursday all their operations against the IS extremists in order to focus on fighting advancing Turkish troops, Kurdish and US officials said.

Esper said he had spoken with his Turkish counterpart about the harm the Turkish incursion was having on relations between the United States and Turkey, which are North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. An official identified them as members of a group of British fighters tied to the killings of Western hostages.

Trump told reporters Wednesday that he learned the Kurdish didn't fight alongside the U.S.in the 1940s in a "very, very powerful article".

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The defense ministry said three other soldiers were wounded, without giving any details. The Turkish government says it plans to enact this initiative with global funding.

Turkey's defence ministry said today that one its soldier was killed during clashes with Kurdish militia in the northern Syria operation as it continued its push across the border.

"No advance as of now", he tweeted Thursday.

Turkish forces, meanwhile, pushed deeper into northeastern Syria on Friday, with casualties on both sides.

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on October 10, 2019.

Graham on Twitter called for Trump to "impose sanctions on Turkey", "reestablish safe zones to protect our Kurdish allies" and "prevent the reemergence of ISIS before it's too late".

Prime Minister Imran Khan said, "We pray that Turkey's efforts for enhanced security, regional stability and peaceful resolution of the Syrian situation are fully successful".

He said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's threat to "open the gates" and let Syrian refugees flood into Europe was "totally out of place", adding that the European Union will never accept "that refugees are weaponized and used to blackmail us".

"These wars produce only chaos and bloodshed", he said.

Esper also said the incursion "risks serious consequences" for Turkey, and he expressed his concern that it could harm U.S. personnel in Syria.

Kurdish forces are now guarding thousands of captured Islamic State prisoners in northeastern Syria without the assistance of the US. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had been in contact with the Turkish and US governments overnight and admitted to being anxious about the situation. The Syrian Kurdish militia was the only USA ally in the campaign that brought down Islamic State in Syria.

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