One of the most dramatic instances of the Turks slaughtering the Kurds during their days-long invasion of Syria is the execution of well-loved Kurdish-Syrian politician Hevrin Khalaf.
Khalaf, 35, who was the secretary general of the Future Syria Party, and her driver were dragged out of their car and shot to death by Turkish-backed fighters from the group Ahrar al-Sharqiya during Turkey’s military operation against the Kurds.
Warning: Graphic Video:
فيديو متداول يقال انه لعملية إعدام الميداني الأمين العام #حزب_سوريا_المستقبل هفرين خلف من قبل فصيل #أحرار_الشرقية الذي سيطر لساعات على حاجز الطريق الدولي بين #عين_عيسى و #الحسكة خلال عودتها من اجتماع مع مكتب #جيمس_جيفري.@realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/t68U6kEMvW
— Renas Sino (@RenasSino) October 12, 2019
Khalaf and her driver were among many civilians killed during the Turkish onslaught.
The execution was summed up by the following cartoon posted on Twitter:
— 𝓜𝓪𝓻𝓲𝓳𝓷 (@Marijn111480) October 15, 2019
A Clarion contact with the Kurdish Red Crescent (Heyva Sora a Kurd) sent us a detailed, day-by-day report of the bombardment and ensuing causalities, of which the figure numbers in the hundreds.
In addition to the Kurds, the lives of close to 100,000 Christians in the region are also in danger.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s pullout of the American troops in the region — which facilitated the invasion by Turkey — remains a subject of controversy. Trump stated that he would retaliate economically if Turkey crossed the line with the invasion.
By Monday the administration had done just that, increasing steel tariffs back up to 50 percent (they had been reduced since in May).
“The United States will also immediately stop negotiations, being led by the Department of Commerce, with respect to a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey,”Trump announced.
“The Turkish Government’s actions are endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region, including undermining the campaign to defeat ISIS,” the Treasury office wrote in a statement. “The Government of Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, as well as the Minister of National Defense, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Minister of the Interior are blocked as a result of today’s action. We are prepared to impose additional sanctions on Government of Turkey officials and entities, as necessary,” the statement reads.
The administration also announced that Vice President Mike Pence will lead a high-level delegation to Ankara. Pence said that Trump had received a commitment from Erdogan not to attack the city of Kobani. “President Trump was very direct on that point,” Pence said.
Having been deserted by the U.S., the Kurds turned to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for backing. Assad responded by sending troops to the town of Manbij where Turkish forces and their allies were gathering nearby for their stated purpose of creating a 20-mile “safe zone” inside the border (that is, a zone free of Kurdish fighters).
Turkish President and Islamist Recep Erdogan view the Kurds as mortal threats due to their aspirations for independence.
Trump’s retreat from the region has been a boon for the Syrian government, whose troops have now returned to the region for the first time in seven years. However, they will now be pitted against the Turkish forces.
Meanwhile, Russian troops also moved into the region vacated by the American troops, saying they are patrolling between the Turkish and Syrian forces.
American troops also came under fire from Turkish forces, according to the Pentagon. Turkey claims the attack, in which there were no causalities, was an “accident.”
Watch Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst and Shillman Fellow Ryan Mauro on I24 News call out the administration on their decision to withdraw American forces from northeast Syria: