Kurds issue 'general mobilization' call ahead of anticipated Turkish strike

Kurds issue 'general mobilization' call ahead of anticipated Turkish strike
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Syrian Kurdish forces, who are allied with the U.S., issued a "general mobilization" call Wednesday ahead of an anticipated Turkish offensive in northern Syria.

In the call, the civilian Kurdish authority — the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria — warned that “a humanitarian catastrophe might befall our people,” The Associated Press reported.

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“We call upon our people, of all ethnic groups, to move toward areas close to the border with Turkey to carry out acts of resistance during this sensitive historical time,” it said in a statement. 

It added that the mobilization would last three days.

The Kurds called on the U.S.-led coalition to establish a no-fly zone in northeast Syria to prevent airstrikes from harming civilians.

Turkey on Tuesday warned it would soon move into Syria after reports it had bombed the border between Syria and Iraq.

Turkey considers the Kurdish fighters terrorists allied with a Kurdish insurgency within the country, according to the wire service.

The Kurds' call to action comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE sparked a firestorm in Washington this week when the White House announced U.S. troops would withdraw from the area in anticipation of the operation, removing the chief deterrent to Ankara's offensive.

The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey would be "moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria" and that U.S. troops "will no longer be in the immediate area." 

Turkey's communications director Fahrettin Altun wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday that the country wanted to "neutralize" a threat. 

"Turkey has no ambition in northeastern Syria except to neutralize a long-standing threat against Turkish citizens and to liberate the local population from the yoke of armed thugs," Altun wrote. 

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have criticized Trump's decision to leave Syria, with many calling it a national security risk that could also cause harm to U.S. allies in the Middle East.

Trump tweeted Wednesday saying that 50 U.S. troops had been removed from the region.