Senior U.S. congressman warns Turkey conducts ethnic cleansing in northern Syria

<p style="text-align: left;">The actions of Turkey in the northern Syrian areas captured in last month&amp;rsquo;s military offensive amount to ethnic cleansing, Democrat Congressman Eliot Engel, chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said on Wednesday in a press release, Ahval News Agency reorted.

"Turkish President Erdogan conducted a bloody ethnic cleansing campaign against the Syrian Kurds in Northeast Syria. Now, he&rsquo;s forcing Arab and Turkmen Syrian refugees to resettle in the Kurds&rsquo; ancestral homeland, where security conditions will put their lives at risk," Engel said.

Turkey launched a cross-border offensive on Oct. 9 to drive the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and other Kurdish-led groups from its borders.

The Turkish government said its operation addressed a legitimate security concern, since the SDF and its affiliates are linked to insurgents that have fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since the 1980s.

Turkey said it would resettle some two million Syrian refugees in the area captured with the operation, which has raised accusations that they will be settled in areas from which the region&rsquo;s Kurdish inhabitants have been forcibly displaced.

The offensive has displaced more than 200,000 people, according to United Nations figures, and the reports revealed that residents were not being allowed back to their homes.

"This action makes it even clearer what a destabilizing actor Erdogan is in the region&mdash;and why it&rsquo;s so appalling that President Trump has cozied up to this thug and empowered him to spread bloodshed and terror," Engel said.

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