Turkey’s incursion began with heavy artillery shelling and airstrikes of several areas along the sprawling Syrian–Turkish border close to which are towns and cities run by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Attacks have continued since, killing multiple civilians, including children.
Read More: Turkish shelling kills two children, wounds others in Syria’s Qamishli
Ankara sees the leading component of the SDF known as the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that has waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey for expanded Kurdish rights.
The offensive began a few days after Washington announced the withdrawal of a number of its troops in critical locations in Syria as Ankara was gearing up for the attack.
US President Donald Trump’s stated reasoning behind the move has often mystified allies or has contradicted earlier statements.
On Friday, amid mounting bipartisan criticism of the limited response to Turkey’s cross-border attack, the US signaled a major shift in policy during briefings given by senior officials, but for Kurds on the ground in Syria reeling from the past four days, this has provided little comfort.
Read More: US: ‘We will not abandon the Kurds;’ calls on Turkey to stop attack in Syria; but is rebuffed by Erdogan
“Why have the Kurds been abandoned? Kurds have been displaced everywhere,” said the woman, holding her limp child.
“Kurds, do not rely on anyone.
Do not rely on America or France.”
She spoke about her husband, a Kurdish fighter who she had not seen or heard of since the shelling began on Wednesday, saying, “I do not know if my husband is still alive.
What is there to say?”
“To the Kurds in Turkey, hear my voice.
This is your honor.
Why are you so indifferent?” she said, her voice rising.
“I am your sister.
I am losing my children.”