United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, “has called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint,” said a statement released by his spokesperson, emphasizing his concern for the risks posed to civilians by potential military actions in the war-torn region, following the announcement made on Twitter by President Donald Trump on Sunday night.
The United Nations has repeatedly warned any military operation would seriously endanger the lives of 1.7 million people based there, particularly as 700,000 of them already rely on aid.
American forces have worked alongside Kurdish fighters in northern Syria for years as key allies in the fight against extremist group ISIL, which once held large swathes of the region.
The troop withdrawal ignited concerns regarding the safety of Kurdish fighters amid reported fears of an assault by Turkish troops across the border, who regard the Kurdish militia as terrorists.
Terrified civilians, who stayed put in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad, sent panicked messages saying they had “nowhere to hide” when the Turkish warplanes first startyed passing overhead.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “Operation Peace Spring will neutralise terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.”
Multiple human rights groups were quoted as saying that the fighting could spark the displacement of as many as 300,000 people, triggering a “humanitarian catastrophe”.
Via The Independent