Netanyahu condemns Turkish invasion into Syria
PM warns against 'ethnic cleansing of the Kurds' by Turkey and its allies and says Israel is ready to provide humanitarian aid to the 'gallant Kurdish people'; Turkey launched a large-scale offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday
Turkey launched airstrikes, fired artillery and began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday.
"Israel strongly condemns the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria and warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds by Turkey and its proxies," Netanyahu said Thursday at a memorial ceremony for the fallen soldiers of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Israel's leader added that Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the "gallant Kurdish people."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the campaign following President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw forces from the region. It essentially abandoned Syrian Kurdish fighters and left the U.S. ally vulnerable to a Turkish offensive that was widely condemned around the world.
The prime minister, however, refrained from criticizing the United States, opting instead to thank the Americans for providing aid to Israel toward the tail end of the Yom Kippur War.
"Like in 1973, today we very much appreciate the important support of the US, which has greatly increased in recent years, as well as the major economic pressure that the US is using on Iran," Netanyahu said.
“The current focus of aggression in the Middle East is the Iranian regime in Tehran. Iran is striving to tighten its grip in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Gaza Strip," he added.
Trump's decision was a major shift in U.S. policy, raising fears in Israel that the unpredictable Trump could just as easily renege of his traditional support of Israel.