Why Turkey is invading Syria

Why Turkey is invading Syria


This plume of smoke is rising from a
town in Syria. A similar scene unfolded in another town about a hundred kilometers away. These attacks were the result of Turkish
airstrikes on October 9th 2019, when Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria began. The long-planned Turkish military operation in Northeast Syria has been launched.
Turkey pushing ever deeper into Syria. At least 160,000 civilians are believed to have fled the fighting in the border area. Over the next several days, the Turkish military moved further into Syria and attacked several other towns. All of these attacks are concentrated here, on this strip of land in Northeast Syria. It’s part of an area that Turkey has been wanting to turn into a so-called safe zone for years. So what is this safe zone? And what purpose does it really serve for Turkey? Syria descended into armed conflict in
2011. Protests broke out against the country’s authoritarian government in major cities. When the government turned its attention to the uprisings and violently cracked down, it left a power vacuum in the north. That’s where the jihadist militant group ISIS swept in starting in 2013. Significant portions of this region, which was home to Syria’s largest ethnic minority group called the
Kurds, were eventually conquered by ISIS. But Kurdish militias successfully fought back. So the US backed them with air support
and on the ground training against ISIS. In 2015, Kurdish and non Kurdish militias in the region banded together to form the
Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, and started pushing ISIS back. This paved the way for the expansion of a Kurdish-led territory which was already being established here. By 2019. the SDF effectively broke the ISIS stronghold in the north. They set up prisons that held around 11,000 captive ISIS fighters and housed tens of thousands of Isis family members in displacement camps. US military bases also cropped up in this Kurdish-run area. And US troops began patrolling the Syrian-Turkish border Across the border in Turkey, President
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has long viewed the rise of the Kurds in Syria as a
threat. That’s because a Kurdish separatist group in Turkey called the PKK has fought the Turkish government for decades. The PKK has pushed for greater autonomy for Kurds living in Turkey. But the Turkish government has
rejected their autonomy and fought back. The violent conflict between the two has
left tens of thousands dead. Erdoğan claims the PKK is aligned with Kurdish forces in Syria And he sees their growing influence across the border as a risk. A Kurdish-governed territory in Syria could inspire Kurds in Turkey to import the same model back home. Erdoğan has launched attacks on Kurds in Syria multiple times. The first came in 2016
when Turkish troops attacked here in the northwest to push back ISIS and block
Kurdish expansion along the border. And in 2018, they attacked Syria again —
this time in an attempt to wipe out the SDF. Turkey gained control over these areas
but by this time it was facing problems within its borders. A trade war with the US and economic mismanagement by the country’s leaders had caused Turkey’s
economy to crash. And many found themselves unable to find work as unemployment increased. This economic downturn caused many in Turkey to look for a scapegoat in Syrian refugees. The war in Syria forced over six million to flee the country. And 3.6 million of those
refugees fled to Turkey, more than any other nation. As Turkey’s economy slumped,
more and more Turks disapproved of President Erdoğan and resented the influx of refugees. In 2014 Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party had broad support. It won 50 mayoral seats, more than half the country’s local leadership. But in March 2019, his party lost 11 of those seats in local elections. To make matters worse, a pro-kurdish party, the People’s Democratic Party, won 8 mayoral seats and helped other opposition candidates win across the country. Voters delivered the Turkish president his worst night ever at the ballot box. This is all reflecting some major discomfort with the president. The Kurds have become the
key in this result. To regain political popularity, the pressure was on Erdoğan to act. After the elections, he doubled down on an idea he’d been proposing for years, a safe zone between Turkey and Syria. Erdoğan had already taken control of
this region in Northwest Syria Now he wanted to expand that territory to the east, further into Kurdish-led land. Erdoğan claimed that the purpose of this safe zone would be to move Syrian refugees back into this strip of Syria. He took this plan to Russia and the US but he couldn’t get them on board. With political pressure mounting at home, Erdoğan and his government threatened to move into Syria on their own. But just but there was an obstacle in their way. The US, an ally to Turkey and a military
supporter of the Kurds, still had troops stationed in northern Syria. So Turkey couldn’t make its move. In August 2019, Turkey made some progress with the US. The two agreed to a safe zone that they would patrol together. This zone would extend 5km into northern Syria. The SDF cooperated by withdrawing some of their forces. But this agreement wasn’t enough for Erdoğan. At the UN a month later, he proposed a much larger zone. We intend to establish a peace corridor with a depth
of 30km and the length of 480km in Syria and enable the settlement of 2 million Syrians there. Soon after this address, Turkey found a
way into Syria. After a phone call with Erdoğan, President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria. It’s now time to bring our soldiers home. I don’t want to leave troops there. It’s very dangerous. We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives. Trump broke the US alliance with the Kurds and pulled troops from along the border. Erdoğan finally seized his opportunity and sent troops into northeastern Syria. Turkey’s invasion has been brutal and destabilizing. What’s happening in Syria can only be described as chaos. Kurdish hospitals have been overwhelmed. Thousands are still on the move trying
to escape this violence. Families desperate to get out of here. Turkey is sending in Arab militias that would displace the Kurds from their homes. As the SDF defends itself against Turkish forces, they’re leaving ISIS prisons unguarded. And according to Kurdish sources, hundreds have already escaped. The US withdrawal and Turkey’s invasion have created a new power vacuum in northern Syria, one that’s quickly being filled. As the US leaves, another force roars in. The Kurds have made a deal with Syria’s President. Turkey’s president and Russian President Vladimir Putin making a deal about the future of Syria. Withdrawal of US troops is leading to more change than the area has seen in years.

100 Replies to “Why Turkey is invading Syria

  1. I'm certainly not an expert but it is my understanding that the PKK is more a violent civil rights movement then a terrorist organization. The movement supposedly a arose to fight mistreatment of the Kurdish people by the Turks.

  2. Shame for all the world who created problems and made humanity shame for 5 million refugees. Only Turkey gave them safe area. No Arab – No Iran – No USA, No EU, No Russia , accepted them.

  3. Why are Kurds interested in separating themselves from Turks and Syrians? Are they religious disagreements or is it just a cultural thing? What is “Kurdish”? A nationality, race, ethnicity, religious belief? I’m genuinely unsure and hoping to learn.

  4. Congratulations Vox! Very well balanced report presenting all angles of the issue. Very hard to see good quality journalism these days. Thank you!

  5. Is this like the "why did the chicken cross the road" question? Now all of a sudden we have an invasion of turkeys??!!

  6. not 3.6 million about 5 million refugess are living in turkey and i dont suppose most of them turn their country because they adopted espacially a lot of child that had been born have citizenship of turkey and most important point that should be thought is that they know when go back they will face wrecked country . maybe if these people turn back probably it gonna be hard to shape the syria at the beginnig but unless they go back economic of the turkey will be suffering

  7. Erdoğan had, Erdoğan claimed, Erdoğan attacked, Erdoğan seized, Isn't enough for Erdoğan… Your attitude is way open and understandable on how do you want to show Erdoğan and Turkey. And acceptance of SDF as only Kurds is redicilous! The Western attitude on terrorism is literally two-faced situation. What a shame!

  8. Why didn't you tell that PKK is a terrorist organisation recognized by US and EU and SDF commanders are ex-PKK commanders ?

  9. When the turkey was değil.vak invading Syrian territory back verecek.bilgisiz news yapma.sade of populism to serve you.

  10. The USA is a joke. When did they forget who they are? Trump says "we never promised to protect them forever" Does he not understand what an alliance is? The us gave their word to protect these people and really i believe they are the best syria has to offer and he turns his back on them and allows a nation like Turkey to attack and by doing so releases IS fighters back into the world. If that man is voted in again which for a moment i do not believe but i didnt think brexit would happen, but if he does you can confirm the misery and oppression of innocents for years to come all around the world. Wake up America your job as world power is to guide the world and enforce peace and freedoms for all not hide away blaming everyone else.

    Before i get hate im not on the left nor on the right im in the middle i use logic, history and compassion to make up my mind.

  11. Establish the state of Rojava regardless of what wannabe-Sultan Erdogan wants. Let the Kurds live peacefully.
    Trump, ISIS and Erdogan alike.

  12. In 13th march 2016 a PYD terrorist blew herself up in the middle of Ankara in a bus station , killing 38 Turkish citizen including college students parents children teenagers. That terrorist was trained in PYD/PKK held camps in Syria.

  13. Turkeys Kurdish pop fight to PKK. Nobody knows that.. Ask please Kurdish pop in Turkey what think about PKK.. Because most kurds living in Turkey. Please Jesus come back fast. World going to madness.

  14. And I remember WhatsApp videos about how amazing turkey is as it was first cou try to allow syrian refugees and came there to support them blah blah blah..
    In this age, if a brother does something for a brother it's seems apparent that it was for his own benefit and need. Nobody does anyone anything for humanity.

  15. What about the cease fire negotiated? Could you add that? The story seems unfinished although very informative for the most part!

  16. So many wrong details about this video you are not showing what kurds did they didnt just fight for 'justice' they killed thousands and the fact that not a single soldier in this video was Turkish you only showed Free Syrian Army as Turkish army NO! and kurds have a country it is Called TURKEY??

  17. Authoritarian governments on the verge of collapse due to their economic ineptitude seek in war a way to get their popularity back appealing to nationalism, xenophobia and witch hunt.

  18. I am a turkish person and I live in turkey,I really love your videos and I am very happy that you made a video abot my country but to be clear turkey is against isis(you didnt mentioned that)

  19. Trump is the worst president ever. His daddy issues cause him to roll over every time he's confronted by a strong man (in this case, literally). If he had made the decision after some thought, okay. But he just rolled over after one phone call. Jeez.

  20. British and French governments are the first ones to blame. They betrayed Kurdish people just after WW1. All the Kurdish problems are derived from being split into different countries.

  21. Us only withdrew from the border . We still are allies with sdf and hold part of syria for kurds . Us brokers a cease fire days later . Update video vox you make it sound like what Obama did that caused ISIS and he called a jv team

  22. One thing I cannot help noticing is that all news station clips are liberal leaning or far out left! Not a balanced representation. Which leads me to believe that the rest of the info may be significantly flawed!

  23. Why did vox end the video as though there is impending doom on the horizon. There is now a ceasefire and the Kurds have withdrawn

  24. Nobody knows where Turkey is and what Turkey is doin' ,so first do that and then let's come on talk on this title actually it is not an invasion,its protecting the border and saving the innocent people from PKK/YPG/YDGH et… Make some research to understand what the invasion is and who are doing that

  25. If the safe zone was actually safe from ill intentions, it would take place in Turkey's territory
    like every other country does with its borders.

  26. lets make a safe zone but war zone is what u get instead, lets clense the Kurds nd move our refugees in their homes. smh

  27. So Turkey just stole about 14000 square kilometers from Syria. I thought those kinds of actions were international crimes.

  28. Turkey holds world's largest refugee population…..if the so called safe zone is being carved out without malicious intent of erdogan it's in the best interest of those Syrian refugees where they could resettle..but concerns must be raised for those ISIS prisoners who could escape or have already escaped as they would use power vaccum in northern Syria to their advantage… security of innocent Syrian Kurds should also be ensured..GOD HELP SYRIA ! AAMEEN

  29. I am a person who lives in Turkey and I could say it is sort of a border defence for future activities.I want to give you a notice that some missiles landed in town centers and caused loss of lifes, and there is over than 4 million refugees and this is making a great problem in all cases cause of political decisions, so I think goverment is trying to make a safe border to transfer refugees back where they came. And I want to give a notice it wasn't an invasion until USA fall back for some reason.

  30. So turkey is bad? War with kurds that live in syria bescouse their scared of them involving with the Ones in turkey?

  31. Turkey is taking millions of refugees and it's overwhelming them, the EU is not helping by taking their ISIS citizens back, the US didn't promise Kurds protection…

  32. So many Turks trying to defend a politically-idoitic move and not only a insensitive decision but also threaten peace and stability of the region

  33. This was a topic I was interested in but couldn't understand fully due to the lack of work on it. You made me understand it in less than 10 minutes. That is the ultimate praise an infotainment channel can get.

  34. I love how Turks pushed the American troops and kurdish terrorist gangs out of these areas and let the Syrian Army in. It's like they started all this operation just to save these lands and give it back to Syria. Wow, just wow…

  35. İt Comes funny o me because pkk, ısıs, kurds killed total of 4.393.041 people we killed only soldiers and the syrian people thats living here wanted to live in in turkey. we just killed soldeirs

  36. I wish Vox would have published the actual death tolls. I keep seeing headlines saying "dozens killed". Is that what we call a war now-a-days? "Dozens" is now considered an "atrocity"? Let's all try to keep this in perspective. On a global scale, this is an EXTREMELY small event.

  37. SDF was founded by YPG which is an accepted terrorist organisation that is linked to the PKK. Nice white washing facts, great Journalism Vox! Keep it up…

  38. I'm missing some information about the turkish kurds (PKK) they have actually commited several terror attacks and in this video it seems Erdogan is the only one commiting violence in eastern turkey. The PKK is however very different than the syrian kurds…

  39. Turkey afraid that’s SDF gonna support Kurd inside Turkey to make a new war with Turkish government
    In same time Erdogan lost Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir the largest 3 cities in Turkey in last election so he want to do some things to make him win in next election

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