PERTH, Australia – Australia is worried Turkey’s military incursion in northern Syria could galvanize a resurgence of the Islamic State group, and has refused to endorse the close ally U.S. for pulling back its troops from the area. Turkey launched airstrikes, fired artillery and began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the campaign, which followed the abrupt decision Sunday by President Donald Trump to essentially abandon Syrian Kurdish fighters, leaving them vulnerable to a Turkish offensive that was widely condemned around the world. The decision was a major shift in U.S. policy and drew oppositions from all sides at home. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday he had been in contact with the Turkish and U.S. governments overnight but admitted to being worried about the situation. “We are very concerned about what this could potentially mean for the Kurdish people,” he said. “We’re concerned about what this could mean for the potential for the resurgence of Daesh,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. Trump has been criticized for his stark change in rhetoric after last year vowing to stand by… Read full this story
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