Kurds

The Gawilan camp is situated in the hilly terrain of northern Iraq, 90 miles from the Syrian border. Since 2013, it has been home to more than 8,000 Syrian Kurds who fled their country's civil war. Now, hundreds more are coming — this time, seeking refuge after fleeing Turkey's offensive in northern Syria.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

Turkey is demanding that U.S. officials call off plans to meet with Mazloum Abdi, the Kurdish commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces which fought alongside American troops to dislodge Islamic State insurgents from northeastern Syria.

"Our allies' dialogue with a terrorist wanted with a red notice is unacceptable," Turkish foreign minister Mevut Cavusoglu told Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency Friday.

Last week, Turkey agreed to a cease-fire in its military offensive targeting Kurdish-led forces in northeastern Syria. But even with hostilities largely on hold, the invasion's humanitarian impact continues to unfold.

As the five-day cease-fire along Turkey's border with Syria continues to falter, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) tells NPR he thinks the deal is "really terrible."

Updated at 5:49 p.m. ET

U.S. Vice President Pence says he has brokered a cease-fire deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to suspend the Turkish incursion into northern Syria, targeting Kurdish forces. However, minutes later, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that he did not consider it a cease-fire.

Our small NPR reporting team arrived in Syria just in time to witness a historic moment in the long-running civil war. But we didn't think we would have to rush out so quickly.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

Congressional Democrats walked out of a bipartisan White House meeting with President Trump about his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, a meeting in which Trump called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "a third-rate politician" according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Speaking to reporters on the White House driveway Wednesday after the meeting, Pelosi said the president had a "meltdown" inside, looked shaken, "and was not relating to reality."

Democrats onstage during their party's presidential debate were quick to condemn President Trump's abrupt and unilateral decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria. But their responses as to what role the U.S. should play in the region were generally cloudier.

Trump's decision last week appeared to set in motion a Turkish incursion into northern Syria and the advancement of Turkish-backed militias against Kurdish forces that had helped the United States battle ISIS.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Turkish-backed militias carrying out attacks in northern Syria came very close to American forces on the ground on Tuesday, putting them and their base "directly at risk," a U.S. official in Syria tells NPR.

Updated at 5:33 p.m. ET

Kurds in northern Syria have announced an abrupt change in alliances in the wake of President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from the area.

American soldiers had been supporting Kurdish fighters, as part of the U.S. military's operations against Islamic extremists in the region. But, with the U.S. already withdrawing, neighboring Turkey has launched an operation against Kurds in Syria, who they argue are terrorists.

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