Kurdish and other free-Syrian forces did the overwhelming majority of fighting against the so-called Islamic State on the ground and, while doing so, they carved out a semi-autonomous region which they have peacefully controlled aided by the presence of American forces.
Trump abruptly ordered American forces to withdraw from the region yesterday and gave Turkey the greenlight to invade and kill or displace the Kurds who did all the fighting for us.
Now, Mr. Trump’s decision goes against the recommendations of top officials in the Pentagon and the State Department who have sought to keep a small troop presence in northeast Syria to continue operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and to act as a critical counterweight to Iran and Russia.
Administration officials said that Mr. Trump spoke directly with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on the issue on Sunday. And the officials indicated that the 100 to 150 United States military personnel deployed to that area would be pulled back in advance of any Turkish operation but that they would not be completely withdrawn from Syria.
On Monday, witnesses in Syria saw United States forces withdrawing from two positions in northeastern Syria: observation posts in Tel Abyad and Ein Eissa.
Trump took to Twitter, as he is wont to do, where he issued a truly demented defense of his decision.
.....again said “NO,” thinking, as usual, that the U.S. is always the “sucker,” on NATO, on Trade, on everything. The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
The Kurds were "paid massive amounts of money and equipment," Trump says.
You know, our effort to arm and equip the Kurds was not meant to be a business arrangement; we did it to counter a threat to global security.
The implications of Trump's decision are vast and include the possible resurgence of ISIS, another humanitarian disaster caused by Turkey's expected invasion, and the possibility that no independent force will want to work with American forces ever again. Because we evidently will sell you out for a bag of peanuts or, you know, a small investment in Trump's next corrupt endeavor.
We know that this is happening because there's a Republican in the White House; because Trump is in the White House -- but foreign forces aren't going to make that distinction. They only know that America is abandoning them.
kurdish sequence of events very ugly, stinks of betrayal. Kurds working with Americans, based on an agreement, had recently pulled their defenses away from Turkish border, only to wake up this am to hear Trump gave Turkey greenlight to invade.
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) October 7, 2019
I'm fairly certain that if Russia invaded another eastern European country tomorrow, Trump would ask them how they intend to pay for our help.