During the ceasefire in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is openly threatening the Kurds. He plans a meeting with Vladimir Putin. All the latest news in the news ticker.
- Since 9th October, a Turkish military offensive is underway in northern Syria
- The offensive is criticized internationally sharply
- Currently, Turkey and the US have agreed on a ceasefire in Syria
- However, it soon after reports on another Turkish air strike
- All previous developments can be read in our previous ticker.
+++ +++ Update
Update October 19 22:55:
Turkey has called on the US to use its "influence" to secure the withdrawal of the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) from northern Syria. "It's up to us to do this," said Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin to the news agency
In view of Thursday's agreement on a five-day ceasefire to allow the withdrawal of the YPG from a "security zone" at the Turkish border.
"It provides for their withdrawal within five days, and we have asked our American counterparts to use their influence and connections to withdraw without incident," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman. He assured that Turkey would fulfill its part of the agreement with the USA. For military incidents since Thursday alone the YPG are responsible.
Syria: Erdogan with martial statement towards Kurdish militia
Update October 19 8:58 pm: Recep Tayyip Erdogan verbally raises heavy guns during the ceasefire. As the image The Turkish president threatened to "crush the heads of the terrorists" at an event in the province of Kayseri if the Kurds did not withdraw as agreed. The head of state of Turkey classifies the Kurdish militia YPG as a terrorist organization. Erdogan also said his forces would continue the offensive "the minute the 120-hour (cease-fire) comes to an end", the agreed deal should not hold.
Erdogan also said that Russia's President Vladimir Putin was discussing the areas of the "security zone" planned by Turkey in northern Syria, where Syrian soldiers are currently stationed. If both sides fail to reach an agreement, Turkey will "start their own plans". The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.
Syria: Turks and Kurds face each other's ceasefire
Update 19 October 19.07 clock: Turkey and Kurdish militias in northern Syria have accused each other of violating the agreed ceasefire. The Turkish Ministry of Defense said the "terrorists" of the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) had made 14 attacks. For its part, the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) accused Ankara of failing to comply with the US-negotiated ceasefire and blocking the withdrawal of its fighters from Ras al-Ain.
Syria: Trump is criticized by McConnel sharply for withdrawing troops
Update October 19th 9:17 am: US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has sharply criticized President Donald Trump's Syria policy. "Removing US forces from Syria is a serious strategic mistake," McConnell wrote in a guest post for the Washington Post on Friday. The retreat makes the US more insecure, strengthens its enemies and weakens important allies. The combination of the US withdrawal and the Turkish military offensive is causing a "strategic nightmare for our country".
The US had withdrawn soldiers from positions in northern Syria last week following a surprise announcement by President Trump. As a result, the Turkish army began its long-announced offensive against the Kurdish militia YPG, which had previously been supported by the US for a long time in the fight against the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS).
In Washington, the US troop withdrawal caused massive criticism – even in Trump's own party. Even McConnell, who is usually a loyal supporter of the US president, has already criticized the decision.
In the Washington Post, the influential Republican chief now said, "Even if the five-day ceasefire announced on Thursday holds true, last week's events threw back the US fight against the Islamic State and other terrorists." Also in Iraq, the IS militia was "flourished" after the withdrawal of troops decided by ex-President Barack Obama, warned McConnell.
The same will happen in Syria and Afghanistan, "if we abandon our allies and withdraw from these conflicts before they are won". "America's wars are 'endless' only if America refuses to win them," McConnell wrote, referring to Trump's announcement that the US should withdraw from "ridiculous endless wars." The name of the US President, he did not mention in his guest post.
Turkey offensive in Syria: Trump flies radical decision around the ears
21.18 clock: In the conflict between the Turkish military and the Kurdish-dominated YPG militia in northern Syria, especially a third party could profoundly benefit. The followers of the so-called Islamic State, trapped in northern Syria. As a result of the withdrawal of the US armed forces and the resulting Turkish offensive, many imprisoned IS fighters managed to escape.
A development that also worries the Chancellor, who feared on Thursday that the use of Turkey could destroy the successes of the Kurdish militias in the fight against the IS. Terrorist expert and author Peter Neumann shares the Chancellor's concerns and declares to bild.de: "ISIS has been waiting for this opportunity."
Turkey offensive in Syria: expert warns – IS wants to rebuild caliphate
For two years, the leader of the IS would say that the Caliphate would be rebuilt if Americans lost interest in the region and withdrew. A prognosis that could now prove true. Neumann also sees the fighters, who were able to flee from the Kurdish captivity, as a danger: "Many will initially remain in Syria and join the terrorist organization there again. For others, it goes back to Turkey, from where they originally came to Syria. And some of us know that they want to return to their European homeland. "
In addition, the terrorist expert warns of a creeping process. There would not be hundreds of fighters at the door tomorrow, Neumann says. For the Kurdish militias, the threat of terrorism – also for Europe – could also become a political lever to get more support from Central Europe.
Turkey offensive in Syria: Trump flies radical decision around the ears – new allegations against Erdogan
Update 8:32 pm: The Foreign Office in Berlin received the Turkish Ambassador Ali Kemal Aydin for an interview on Friday. As the ZDF reported, citing diplomatic circles, the desire for a meeting went out from the Turkish side. Aydin then discussed with Political Director Jens Plötner – one of the closest advisers to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). The Foreign Office did not want to comment on the content of the conversation.
The Federal Government has imposed a partial arms export ban against Turkey because of the Syria conflict. After curbing exports, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently mocked Foreign Minister Maas. Maas has no idea about politics – he is a "dilettante", said Erdogan.
Aydin in turn condemned this week loud in Germany criticism of military salute Turkish football international with sharp words. "It really borders on xenophobia, discrimination and racism," he said.
Turkey offensive in Syria: Troop withdrawal could be a strategic goal for Trump
Update 19:03: The truce between Turkey and Kurdistan militias, announced for northeastern Syria, is broad according to the United Nations. In most areas, it was quiet, said the spokesman for UN Secretary General António Guterres, Stéphane Dujarric, on Friday in New York. However, it had been around the border town of Ras al-Ain last continued shelling with grenades and firearms. The UN relied on information from its relief agency Ocha, which cooperates with "trusted sources" in the civil war country.
Meanwhile, humanitarian aid continues to benefit tens of thousands of people displaced as a result of the fighting – in the last two days alone, 60,000 people in need of assistance have been helped. Winter edition has started, Dujarric said.
Update 18:15: The withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria could become a strategic own goal for US President Donald Trump, as the majority of US citizens Trump wishes to leave office, as the recent Gallup poll shows. 52 percent of Americans surveyed are in favor of initiating the impeachment trial. This is reported by bild.de. Four months ago, only 45 percent said they would vote against the US president in a similar poll.
A glimpse of history also predicts a grim future for Donald Trump. For the last time 1974 was the majority of the population for the impeachment of the president. At the time, 58 percent spoke out against reigning President Richard Nixon. Nixon, who was also a member of the Republicans, resigned just days after the poll due to the Watergate scandal. So the prospects are not good for Donald Trump.
Turkey offensive in Syria: Macron learned via Twitter of withdrawal of the US troops: "Thought that we were in NATO"
Update 18.07 clock: France's head of state Emmanuel Macron claims to have learned about the withdrawal of US troops from Syria on the short message service Twitter. "I thought that we were in NATO, that the United States and Turkey were in NATO," said Macron on Friday on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels. "Like everyone else, I've learned through a tweet that the United States has decided to withdraw its troops."
Macron did not say which Twitter message he was referring to. US President Donald Trump had surprisingly announced on October 7 through the online service that it was time for his country to withdraw from the "ridiculous endless wars". At the same time, the US armed forces began to withdraw their troops from northern Syria.
As a result, the Turkish army began its long-announced offensive against the Kurdish militia YPG in northern Syria. Macron announced on Friday that he wanted to launch a diplomatic initiative with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. As part of this, a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planned. France is involved with special forces in the anti-IS coalition in Syria.
Turkey offensive in Syria: Amnesty International accuses Turkey of war crimes in
Update 15:52: The human rights organization Amnesty International has accused Turkey of war crimes in northern Syria. The Turkish forces and their Syrian allies had "war crimes, mass killings and unlawful attacks" on their military offensive against the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG), Amnesty said on Friday. The organization said it had "overwhelming evidence of arbitrary attacks in residential areas."
Amnesty General Secretary Kumi Naidoo affirmed to the Turkish army and its Syrian allies "complete indifference to the lives of civilians". According to the Amnesty report, the forces controlled by Ankara inter alia attacked a home, a bakery and a school.
Amnesty relies on video footage and testimony from 17 witnesses, including rescue workers, medical personnel, humanitarian workers, displaced persons and journalists. A Kurdish Red Cross employee said that after a Turkish air raid on October 12, he carried charred corpses from a ruin near a school. The Turkish government initially did not comment on the Amnesty report.
Syria conflict: sharp criticism of Tusk – truce is "capitulation call"
Update from October 18, 15:40: Since the agreement of the truce it was peaceful in many previously contested areas, it was said from Kurenkreisen. However, bombing and machine-gun fire continued around the border town of Ras al-Ain, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. The statement rose from five to seven killed civilians and four Syrian fighters and at least 21 injured persons. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said when asked about battles on Friday in Istanbul, it was "speculation and disinformation" that one should not believe. Turkey also stated that its offensive was not stopped but "interrupted".
EU Council President Donald Tusk has sharply criticized the truce for northern Syria agreed by Turkey and the US. "This so-called truce is not what we expected," Tusk said on Friday at the conclusion of the EU summit in Brussels. "This is not actually a truce, that is the call to surrender to the Kurds."
Turkey-Syria conflict: military offensive against Kurdish YPG – Trump threatened with sanctions
On Wednesday, October 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan kicked off a long-planned offensive against Kurdish militias in northern Syria. According to Erdogan, Turkey's goal is to "destroy the terror corridor that we want to build on our southern border and bring peace and tranquility to the region."
The use is internationally highly controversial and is heavily criticized. Critics also blame the United States because the Turkish offensive was made possible by the withdrawal of US troops from the border region in the first place. US President Donald Trump then imposed sanctions on Turkey. He threatened to "immediately destroy Turkey's economy if the Turkish leadership continues its dangerous and destructive path."
Turkey offensive in Syria: Erdogan wants to defeat YPG – journalists die in attack
The aim of the operation is the Kurdish YPG militia, which controls a large area on the Syrian side of the border. Turkey sees in her an offshoot of the banned Kurdish workers' party PKK and thus as terrorists. The attack is a self-defense measure. While Turkey emphasizes attacking only terrorist cells, activists from Syria report attacks on civilians and refugee chaos. The aid organization "Doctors Without Borders" has withdrawn its employees from the region – in the knowledge of the serious consequences for injured. The situation on the ground, however, is too uncertain. At least two journalists have reportedly been killed in an attack on a civilian convoy.
Turkey offensive against Kurds: Erdogan wants "security zone" in northern Syria
Turkey wants to expel the Kurdish militias from the border region and settle Syrian refugees in a so-called "security zone" there, who are currently living in Turkey and Europe. The fighting is concentrated in the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain. Since the beginning of the civil war, Turkey has received around 3.6 million refugees in neighboring Syria – but in the meantime, the welcome culture that has been practiced by many at the beginning of the civil war is falling, partly because of the poor economic situation in the country.
Syria / Turkey: Has the agreed ceasefire already been broken?
On Thursday evening, there was a new development: After hours of negotiations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday evening in Ankara an agreement on a ceasefire in northern Syria. Although Turkey announced that it would suspend its military offensive for five days, the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) will withdraw its fighters from a planned "security zone" along the Turkish border. In northern Syria, however, the Turkish Air Force and artillery continued attacking on Friday. According to activists, at least five civilians were killed in a Turkish air strike.
FDP leader Christian Lindner subverts in a speech to the Bundestag a slip of the tongue, which made him the ridicule of the ZDF show "Today's Show". After all, brings the Upper Liberals even chancellor Angela Merkel to smile.
AFP / dpa