Jerusalem – Israel on Thursday condemned the Turkish military operation in Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria and offered humanitarian assistance to Kurds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement “Israel strongly condemns the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria.
“Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the Kurdish people.’’
Turkey launched a broad offensive against Kurdish-led militia in northeastern Syria after the U.S. troops pulled back from the area.
Israel has been increasingly worried about the Iranian forces in Syria after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw forces from Israel’s northern neighboring country.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken out sharply against Turkey’s ongoing military operation in Syria, and said Israel stands ready to give humanitarian aid to the “gallant Kurdish people.”
Turkey launched a ground and air assault on Wednesday against a Syrian militia that has been a crucial American ally in the fight against ISIS, days after President Trump agreed to let the operation proceed.
As Turkish warplanes bombed Syrian towns and troops crossed the border, the chaos in Washington continued, with Trump issuing seemingly contradictory policy statements in the face of strident opposition from his Republican allies in Congress.
Mr. Trump aquieseced to the Turkish operation in a call with Turkey’s president on Sunday, agreeing to move American troops out of Turkey’s way despite opposition from his own State Department and military.
On Wednesday, hours after the operation began, he condemned it, calling it “a bad idea”.
By that time, Turkish fighter jets were streaking through the sky over Syrian towns, while artillery shells boomed overhead.
Traffic was jammed with terrified civilians fleeing south in trucks piled high with possessions and children.
After about six hours of airstrikes, Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies crossed the border, opening a ground offensive.
At least seven people were killed in the Turkish attacks on Wednesday, according to the Rojava Information Center, an activist group in northeastern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a conflict monitor based in Britain, put the toll at eight.