Though a U.S. led ceasefire has been hastily agreed to in the region, for the Kurdish minority, the brutality and betrayal of this past week has left their communities shattered, heartbroken and hopeless.
Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Erdogan agreed to a tentative, 120-hour-long ceasefire or “pause,” in Turkey’s military offensive in Northeast Syria.
One of the conditions of the agreement, however, involves the Turkish-led withdrawal of SDF/YPG (Kurdish) fighters from the area – practically, it is unclear how this will play out, particularly given ethnic tensions in the region and the presence of Syrian (SAA) and Russian troops, who have become the Kurd’s latest allies.
CBN News war Correspondent, Chuck Holton, is currently on the frontlines in Syria and has been following the ongoing Turkish military operation into the self-governed Kurdish region.
Holton has been speaking with many Kurdish people on the ground over the past week as they faced relentless bombardment from Turkish forces and came to terms with the increasingly stark reality that they are rapidly losing their precious land. The stories he has been relaying are devastating.
One Kurdish nurse, Janda, told Holton that most of the casualties they are treating are civilians — indeed, many are kids.
“The children are the worst,” Janda said. “Why do we have to go through this after we finally got rid of ISIS?”
“I offered to pray for her and she gave a sober nod,” Chuck explained. “When I finished praying in Jesus name, she said, “Perhaps Jesus will answer our prayers. Because Allah has not.”
This powerful exchange “opened the door for us to share more with her about the living Savior,” Chuck added. “Please pray for her. And BTW, her name in Kurdish means “Sacrifice.”
While Turkey has insisted that its military is being careful to protect innocent civilians in the region, a damning new report by The Times veteran war correspondent, Anthony Lloyd, suggests that they are recklessly deploying a lethal chemical weapon called “White Phosphorous,” against the minority population.
Photo evidence of children sustaining injuries linked to the weapon, which causes the skin to burn relentlessly, has been posted online.
An accusation that carries the serious charge of “war crime” and “crime against humanity,” Lloyd suggests that Turkey is plainly violating its membership agreement with NATO and committing an ethnic cleansing of Kurds:
“The terrible wounds that had all but flayed the 13-year-old Mohammed Hamid Mohammed’s skin from his torso, penetrating deep into his flesh, suggested his injuries were caused by something far worse than blast alone. They added to the growing body of evidence that suggests Turkey, a Nato member, is using white phosphorus against Kurdish civilians in its eight-day offensive into northern Syria.”
This, combined with news that Turkish-backed proxy forces, many of whom are radical Islamic mercenaries, will ignore the ceasefire agreement and continue to slaughter Kurdish civilians, must bring us to our knees in prayer.
Pray — for those who are heartbroken, lost and afraid in this war-torn region. Pray for divine protection over the Kurdish people. Pray for the leaders of this world, that they might agree upon a long-lasting and sustainable peace. Pray for God’s Kingdom to be made manifest in this troubled place.
You can keep up to date with Chuck’s reporting by following him on Facebook here.