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US Troops Leave Syria; Turkey Attacks
News Bytes 10/14/2019 20 Comments

President Donald Trump has pulled U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria. They were there as a peace-keeping force in a region devastated by Syrian civil war and terrorism. On Wednesday, two days following the troops’ departure, the Turkish military launched an attack on the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain. 

Mustafa Bali is a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). That group fought with the United States against the militant Islamic State (ISIS) presence in Syria. The Kurds oppose both the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the ISIS militants. Bali says that Turkey’s warplanes were striking civilian areas. He says the attack is causing “a huge panic among people of the region.”

Last week, an estimated 50 to 100 U.S. special forces soldiers had pulled back from Syria’s border with Turkey to more secure positions inside the country. Many U.S. lawmakers—both Republican and Democrat—opposed that move. They feared withdrawing the U.S. military presence would leave the region’s Kurdish fighters in danger of an attack by Turkey. Those fears became reality as Turkey further pressed its attacks. 

On Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the rest of the 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria also will be evacuated. “I spoke with the President last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team, and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria,” Esper said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Despite being U.S. allies in fighting ISIS terrorists, the Kurds and the SDF are called “terrorists” themselves by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan says his country’s military crackdown is intended to “bring peace to the area.” He believes the Kurds pose a threat to his government and claims he wants to carve out a “safe zone” at the border. It will extend as much as 20 miles into Syria, displacing the Kurds and religious minorities—including some Christian refugees—who currently live there. Erdogan says Turkey will use that area to rehome some of the thousands of Syrian refugees that have been living for the last several years inside Turkey’s borders.

President Trump was aware that pulling out U.S. troops could endanger U.S. allies there. He warned Turkey that an invasion would be a bad idea and said that the United States “does not endorse it.” But Erdogan moved ahead with the assault anyway. (Turkey has, in the recent past, attempted to manipulate the United States by taking an American pastor hostage and using him as a negotiating tool. See “American Pastor on Trial in Turkey” and “Pastor Andrew Brunson Back on American Soil.”)

Thousands of Syrian civilians are once again attempting to flee the area. Their options are even more limited now. They cannot cross into Turkey on the north because that is the source of the new attack. And ISIS militants still hold small strongholds in Syria—just waiting to take advantage of the chaos and add to it.

(Smoke is seen billowing from sites in Syria bombarded by Turkish forces on Sunday, October. 13, 2019. AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

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Most recent comments

Oh, No!

I would REALLY not like to be there right now! It is just SO sad that all these countries are fighting! But, it is good that the officials are trying to evacuate people! And, I to would panic if MY city was being bombed. It's funny. In school, I'm reading a book about a boy who's city is being bombed, and they are VERY scared, like the people of Syria. I will be preying for these people. I also encourage you to as well. I think that every day, we should ask our parents to tell us about what is going on in Syria, and then prey. Then, when we go to World Teen, we can share about what we preyed for. Just an idea. If you don't want to, you don't have to. I think it will be a good idea. Tell me what you think of it. LP

Frustrating! #Secondcomment

I wish that country's, when hunting ISIS, would not also hunt civilian's! Bombing residential areas! Sounds like Hitler! That only reason Turkey can do this is Syria does not have a big military, I think that the U.S withdrawing allowed Turkey to do this! AGHGHGHHH

Oh no!

This isn't good.... I really don't think that Turkey would have done that if the U.S troops were still there.

@Mackenna L (When you read this article)

Are you homeschooled? I saw that you said you had to write about the World teen articles a few days ago. I'm homeschooled and that's what I have to do!

@Lilias P

I agree we should definitely pray.
By the way the kind of pray you meant is spelled with an a, with an e it means an animal hunted or seized for food.

unstable countries..

This is so sad.... That as soon as the (probely relived) US solders get to go home war strikes!! Its like a mother clan ng down two todlers when she leaves they start to fight again! The people who live there are terrified. I would not want to live there! I will be praying. :'(


This must be TERRIFYING for anybody there. I feel so bad for them. I will definitely pray for them.


When I look at the side panel of articles this new title is just U.S? Sorry. Not trying o change the subject.


It's sad that these countries are fighting expressly for the people living in Syria, they must be really afraid!

Yikes! That's pretty scary, I

Yikes! That's pretty scary, I will definitely be praying!!!

Why are there two articles

Why are there two articles for the 14th??????

@ Beth H

I don't know! Maybe it was supposed to be for tomorrow and they accidentally put it up today.

@Beth H

Sometimes there are two articles in a day just because there are two things worth making an article about.

@Nadia A

I noticed that too but they fixed it now.

To above

Oh. I just noticed! And they sometimes put up more than one article.


uh.......theirs still 2 articles


I hope a WWIII doesn't start from things like these eventually..............................

@ Gloriana

I like it when the have two articles! Just more to tell my family about! :-) :-)


I know that would be horrible!!

Uh oh. This sounds awful.

Uh oh. This sounds awful.

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