US Jewish Leaders ‘Deeply Concerned’ by Plight of Kurds Facing Turkish Military Assault in Syria
A top US group on Friday condemned the ongoing Turkish military offensive in Syria against Kurdish forces.
“We are deeply concerned about the plight of the Kurdish population in Syria who have proven to be loyal allies in the fight against ISIS,” Arthur Stark, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, stated.
“We are also concerned about the perception that the US and the West do not stand by allies and will allow Turkish aggression,” they added. “We are sending the wrong message at the wrong time when Turkey and Iran and their cohorts are pursuing their hegemonic goals.”
Meanwhile, Turkey intensified air and artillery strikes in northeast Syria on Friday.
The Kurds, who recaptured swathes of northeastern Syria from ISIS with the backing of the United States, say the Turkish assault could allow the jihadist group to re-emerge.
In its first big attack since the Turkish operation began, ISIS claimed responsibility for a deadly car bomb in Qamishli, the biggest city in the Kurdish-held area, even as the city came under heavy Turkish shelling.
Five ISIS fighters fled a jail there, and foreign women from the group being held in a camp torched tents and attacked guards with sticks and stones, the Kurds said.
The Turkish incursion was launched after US President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last weekend and subsequently withdrew American troops who had been fighting alongside Kurdish forces against ISIS.