Government - Shock Announcement As US Abandons Kurds
The White House announced a major shift in US policy in Syria, pulling troops out of the war-ravaged country's north and allowing Turkish forces to move across the border.
This puts the Kurds at risk. Kurdish YPG fighters have been the most effective fighting force on the ground in the US-led coalition's fight to destroy the so-called Islamic State. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes the Kurds of northern Syria are extensions of outlawed Kurdish separatist groups in Turkey and has been pushing to invade Syria and attack the YPG.
With the new Trump administration policy, Turkey now has US permission to overrun the areas of Syria now held by the Kurds. Erdogan said a Turkish military incursion into northeastern Syria was "imminent".
"Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria," read White House statement. "The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate', will no longer be in the immediate area."
In addition to a betrayal of its YPG allies, the US move also seems to be a slight to Europe.
"The United States Government has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused," said the US statement in Trumpian language. "The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer."
Turkish state media reported that Trump and Erdogan agreed to meet at the White House in November. The last time Erdogan was in Washington was in 2017 when his bodyguards assaulted Kurdish protesters and Turkish dissidents.