Turkish warplanes have begun attacking northeastern Syria, causing widespread panic among Christian and other religious communities caught up in the aerial bombardments.
“Christians and others are extremely worried,” Syriac Christian political leader Bassam Ishak told Catholic News Service. “The Turkish bombing seems designed to push people out of their towns, if, in fact, they manage to escape alive.”
Ishak heads the Syriac National Council. A graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, he is also a member of the political bureau of the Syrian Democratic Council.
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces reported civilian casualties but provided no specific numbers.
Ishak has warned for months about a possible Turkish military incursion to settle scores with its perceived enemy, the Kurds, who were staunch allies of the United States and largely responsible for successfully battling Daesh militants in Syria.
Despite very strong bipartisan US Congressional disapproval of President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to pull back US troops from northeastern Syria, the president did not back down. He said it was too costly to keep supporting Kurdish-led forces in the region fighting Daesh militants.
Picture: A Turkish milItary convoy is pictured in Kilis near the Turkish-Syrian border on 9th October 2019. Turkish warplanes have begun attacking northeastern Syria, causing widespread panic among Christian and other religious communities caught up in the aerial bombardments. (CNS photo/Mehmet Ali Dag, Ihlas News Agency via Reuters).