After last week’s invasion of northern Syria and the capture of the city of Jarabulus away from ISIS, Turkish officials were quick to insist that their real target was primarily the Kurds. They underscored this today with a flurry of attacks on a pair of Kurdish villages that left at least 35 civilians killed.
The villages of Jub al-Kousa and al-Amarna, just south of Jarabulus, are both Kurdish dominated villages, and according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, both were pounded by Turkish warplanes and artillery. 20 were killed in Jub al-Kousa and another 15 in Amarna. Scores were also reported wounded, so the toll may rise.
Despite the Observatory confirmation that all the slain were civilians, Turkey’s official statement claimed they’d only killed 25 people total, and that all were members of the Kurdish YPG. The YPG only had very limited presences in either village, however, and indications are that they had already withdrawn some time before the attacks began.
Still, Turkey’s notorious hostility toward all things Kurdish had many of the locals taking up arms to resist the takeover of their villages, and the Turkish-backed rebels, mostly the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham force, engaged in heavy fighting with the population before ultimately occupying both villages.
Turkish tanks were reported to be continuing southward after the villages fell, with their next targets the metro area around Manbij, with the Kurdish YPG and its allies captured, in a US-backed offensive that lasted over two months. The indications now are that Manbij won’t be the end either, with intentions to continue to take territory even further south of that.
6 thoughts on “Turkey Attacks Syrian Kurdish Villages, Killing 35 Civilians”
Great. So we can soon check whether US-sourced TOW missiles are able to punch nice holes into US-sourced (and according to the photographs, kinda obsolete) NATO tanks?
It is always the manipulation of empires that make people suffer. It was US action against Manbij that brought YPG way out of its area of Kobani along Turkish border, with the intention to ethnically cleanse non-Kurds. And they did after Manbij fell. Now, as Turkey has ordered Kurdish YPG to withdraw beyond Euphrates, now Kurdish villages are going to suffer. It is important not to look at the maps State Department has provided for our confusion. It looks like Kurds are populated along the entire stretch of Turkish border. This is essentially not true, as Kurds are minority there. They are majority in three areas — not contiguous. It is a tragedy that YPG allowed itself to be used — but on the other hand, did they had a chance? When ISIS, out of the blue, attacked Kobani — and hundreds of people were taken hostages, and hundreds killed — Kurds reached out to US for help. But this help had to be paid dearly — as US demanded that Kurds become its ground force, spreading Kurdish areas all along Turkish border, and thus — creating a practically connected Kurdish state between Turkey Kurdistan and Syria. Iraqi Kurds were alarmed at what they saw as the byproduct of ISIS “war on terror”, a US-forced creation of Kurdish state. Iran call that plan — creating another Israel in the Middle East — utterly dependent on US for survival.
But as Turkey insists on Syrian territorial integrity, and will insist equally on Iraqi territorial integrity — there is little chance that Kurdistan will be on a map any time soon.
How is this militarist adventure by Erdogan any better than Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait? Why isn’t the UN condemning this?
Isn’t it curious that unlike every village in Iraq, and all those
vicious fights between Kurds and ISIS, Turkey didn’t lose a man or a
tank taking Jarabulus? ISIS simply withdrew. (To where, exactly?
The cynic’s version is that Turkey is setting about restoring the supply lines between Turkey and ISIS. The Kurds got in the way, both of foreign recruits, weapons, and the oil business. Turkey is busy saving ISIS.
Why? There are two ways you could convince ISIS to stop terror bombings in Turkey. One: destroy them. Two: say you’re sorry, make a deal, and restore their supply routes. Which is more likely?
Invading a sovereign neighboring country and killing its citizens. Is that not a war crime? This is a declaration of war and Syria has the right to hit back
True – but then Clinton and Bush would have both been convicted after Iraq.
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