National Security & Defense

Erdogan Announces Launch of Turkish Offensive into Syria

Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan (Bernadett Szabo/Reuters)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday the commencement of a military incursion into Syria.

The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria,” Erdogan wrote on Twitter, using the Arabic nickname for ISIS. The PKK and YPG are Kurdish organizations Turkey classifies as terror groups.

Erdogan continued, “#OperationPeaceSpring will neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.”

Airstrikes were reported near the Turkish-Syrian border moments after Erdogan’s announcement, according to the AFP. The Dubai-based Al-Arabiya reported that Kurdish forces had called on the U.S. and Europe to impose a no-fly zone over the area.

About 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently reside in Turkey, having fled the Syrian civil war. Turkey aims to resettle these refugees in Syria’s northeast, which Kurdish residents say is really an attempt to weaken them demographically by flooding the region with Sunni Arabs.

On Monday, President Trump announced his intention to pull back American troops from the Syrian-Turkish border in anticipation of Turkey’s planned incursion. The announcement drew bipartisan fury in Washington for effectively abandoning Kurdish combatants, who had fought in the American coalition to defeat ISIS.

The Trump administration confirmed on Tuesday that Trump was set to host Erdogan at the White House for a state visit later this month.

Trump has defended his decision to pull back U.S. troops, saying that the military is not abandoning the Kurds, “who are special people and wonderful fighters.” He also threatened to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy if Erdogan did anything he considered to be “off limits.”



Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More