Turkey launched an aerial and ground assault Wednesday in northern Syria targeting Kurdish-controlled areas, just days after President Trump ordered U.S. troops to fall back from their positions on the Turkish-Syrian border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports at least 16 Kurds have been killed so far. Turkey claims the death toll is over 100. Fear is also growing the Turkish assault could lead to the escape of ISIS fighters imprisoned in northern Syria. The New York Times is reporting the U.S. military has moved several dozen Islamic State prisoners to more secure locations. The European Union has warned Turkey’s hostilities would “further undermine the stability of the whole region.” The U.N. Security Council is expected to meet later today. On Wednesday, President Trump described Turkey’s assault as a “bad idea” but defended his decision by saying the Kurds “didn’t help us with Normandy.”
President Donald Trump: “Now the Kurds are fighting for their land, just so you understand. They’re fighting for their land. And as somebody wrote in a very, very powerful article today, they didn’t help us in the Second World War. They didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example. They mention names of different battles.”
We’ll have more on the Turkish offensive after headlines.