Israeli Official: Israel Assisting Syrian Kurds Via ‘a Range of Channels’

November 8, 2019

2 min read

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely speaking at the College of Statesmanship. (Photo credit: Tzipi Hotovely Facebook page)

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Wednesday that following the U.S. pullout from northern Syria last month and the subsequent Turkish invasion, Israel has been helping the Syrian Kurds in “a range of ways.”

“Israel has received many requests for assistance, mainly in the diplomatic and humanitarian realm,” Hotovely told the Knesset on Wednesday, according to Reuters. “We identify with the deep distress of the Kurds, and we are assisting them through a range of channels,” she added.

Hotovely provided no further details on the nature of the assistance, saying only that in “dialogue with the Americans … we state our truth regarding the Kurds … and we are proud of taking a stand alongside the Kurdish people.”

Turkey launched its invasion of northern Syria, which it calls “Operation Peace Spring,” on Oct. 9, three days after the Trump administration ordered the withdrawal from the region of U.S. forces. The conflict, which according to Turkey is aimed at forming a 20-mile deep “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border where some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey could be resettled, has displaced over 130,000 people and resulted in multiple civilian casualties.

Israel’s deputy foreign minister warned on Wednesday that the loss of Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria would “bolster negative elements” in the area, chiefly Iran.

“The possible collapse of the Kurdish hold in north Syria is a negative and dangerous scenario as far as Israel is concerned,” said Hotovely. “It is absolutely clear that such an event would bring about a bolstering of negative elements in the area, headed by Iran.”

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