Turkey ready for Syria offensive despite mixed Trump signals Oct 09, 2019 0 946 12345 AFPIstanbulTurkey said Tuesday it was ready for an offensive into northern Syria, while President Donald Trump insisted the United States had not abandoned its Kurdish allies who would be targeted in the assault.Trump has blown hot and cold since a surprise announcement on Sunday that Washington was pulling back 50 to 100 “special operators” from Syria’s northern frontier.The troops had served as a buffer preventing a long-planned attack by the Turkish military against Kurdish forces, who were crucial in the years-long campaign to defeat the Islamic State group but are viewed as “terrorists” by Ankara.After appearing to give a green light to the Turkish invasion on Sunday, Trump later threatened to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it went too far.“Any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency,” he tweeted. But he also gave a warm account of Turkey in other tweets and announced that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would visit Washington on November 13. “So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the US,” he said.Ankara had already brushed aside Trump’s warnings, with Vice-President Fuat Oktay saying: “Turkey is not a country that will act according to threats.” Turkey has always pushed hard against US support for Kurdish forces in Syria due to their links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has fought a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. Its defence ministry tweeted that preparations for an offensive in northern Syria have been “completed”. Trump rejected that interpretation, tweeting: “We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters.” Britain said it was “deeply concerned” by Turkey’s plans to attack Kurdish fighters, who lead the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and say they lost some 11,000 fighters as the main frontline force against the IS group. RELATED ARTICLES Iran opposes Syria military action, Zarif tells Turkey Oct 09, 2019 0 178 Iraq’s parliament meets after protests spark political crisis Oct 09, 2019 0 156 Hong Kong’s Lam says Chinese intervention can’t be ruled out Oct 09, 2019 0 544 Would welcome Kurds back into fold, says Damascus AFP Beirut Damascus is ready to welcome Syria’s Kurds back into the fold after Washington left them to face Turkish military threats alone, a senior official said in comments published Tuesday. Ankara has threatened an .. Turkey hits Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq Istanbul: Turkish air strikes hit Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq, Ankara’s defence ministry said Tuesday.The ministry said on Twitter that “nine terrorists were neutralised” in air strikes in the Hakurk .. Zuma’s son says not corrupt, but victim of S African political ‘storm’ Johannesburg: The son of South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma, accused by witnesses of acting as a conduit in a major web of state graft, said on Tuesday he was not corrupt but a victim of political crossfire. Duduzane .. Mozambique says army killed 9 militants in restive north Maputo: Mozambican soldiers killed nine “evildoers” in the volatile north ahead of general elections next week, the government has said, in the first ever official confirmation of an attack on militants. Suspected .. German defence minister visits soldiers in north-eastern Mali Gao: German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Tuesday visited German soldiers serving with the United Nations in Mali to learn about their mission in the West African country. The soldiers are based in .. Chinese govt blasts US blacklist of 28 entities over Xinjiang as ‘groundless’ AFP Beijing China hit back at the United States on Tuesday over the blacklisting of 28 Chinese entities accused of being implicated in rights violations against mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, saying .. Iran to present regional peace plan for Strait of Hormuz ‘soon’ Tehran: Iran will be ready to present the details of its peace plan for the strategically important Strait of Hormuz “soon,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Tuesday. The plan, announced by President ..