A villager standing in the road as the armored vehicles rumbled by held a handwritten sign reading: “Tell your children that the children of the Kurds were killed by the Turks and we did nothing to protect them.”
On the other side of the border in Iraq, recently arrived Kurdish refugees also focused their anger toward the United States.
At first, Mahmoud Bashar, an elderly man with thin-rimmed glasses, refused to speak to NBC News out of anger at Washington.
“It’s as if the Americans destroyed my home,” he said as he waited in line for kerosene to keep warm in dusty Bardarash refugee camp outside the Iraqi city of Duhok. “We fought for the whole world, we fought terrorism and ISIS. We fought ISIS but at the end the Americans deserted us.”
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Many have traveled south and deeper into Syria, while more than 7,000 mainly-Kurdish civilians have gone to Iraqi Kurdistan, according to the U.N.
Many ethnic Kurds in northeastern Syria feel betrayed by the U.S.’ withdrawal, which has left them more vulnerable to the Turkish offensive that is due to restart at 10 p.m. local time Tuesday (3 p.m. ET.)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will continue his offensive into northeastern Syria and would "crush the heads" of the Syrian-Kurdish fighters if they had not withdrawn from his so-called "safe zone" by the end of the five-day pause in fighting, according to Reuters.
Most of those arriving in Bardarash and its U.N.-branded tents carried little more than a shopping bag-full of clothes.
“We came like this. We didn’t have time to bring anything,” Randa Shekhmus Hussein, 29, a mother of three, said.