The Hindu Explains | Turkey’s attack on Kurds in Syria
Turkey pounded Kurdish militia in northeast Syria for a second day on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee and killing at least dozens of people in a cross-border assault on U.S. allies that has turned the Washington establishment against President Donald Trump.
The offensive against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by Kurdish YPG militia, which began days after Mr. Trump pulled U.S. troops out of the way and following a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, opens one of the biggest new fronts in years in an eight-year-old civil war that has drawn in global powers.
The SDF have been the main allies of U.S. forces on the ground in the battle against Islamic State since 2014. They have been holding thousands of captured IS fighters in prisons and tens of thousands of their relatives in detention.
SDF forces were still in control of all prisons with Islamic State captives, a senior U.S. State Department official said in a briefing with reporters on Thursday.
The United States has received a high-level commitment from Turkey on taking responsibility for Islamic State captives but has not yet had detailed discussions, the official said.