(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Turkey’s invasion of Kurdish areas of northeastern Syria and offered humanitarian aid to the Syrian Kurds. Turkey launched its assault on Oct. 9, leaving thousands of Kurdish civilians fleeing their homes. “Israel strongly condemns the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria and warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds by Turkey and its proxies,” Netanyahu said in a statement released Oct. 10. “Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the gallant Kurdish people.”
They were the Israeli leader’s first comments on the situation in northeastern Syria since President Trump announced on Oct. 7 that he would withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, leaving the door open for the gap in territory to be filled by elements hostile to Israel. The Netanyahu statement did not mention the withdrawal. Netanyahu has previously announced support for an independent state for the Kurds. Israeli politicians across the political spectrum also issued statements in support of the Kurds.