UPDATE: Yesterday, Vice President Pence announced a five-day ceasefire with Turkey in Northern Syria. Whether the ceasefire will persist is questionable, at best.
U.S. President Donald Trump made a recent decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria. Since 2014, Syrian Kurdish fighters have been important allies of the U.S. in the effort to defeat the terrorist group ISIS. Now that ISIS’s numbers have diminished and more than 10,000 ISIS fighters are in captivity, President Trump figured it was time to bring back the American troops from the region. This was a campaign promise that he wanted to fulfill before the next election in 2020.
The Relationship Between the Kurds and Turkey
Unfortunately, the downside to President Trump’s decision comes at the expense of the Kurdish allies. Since 1978, the Turkish government has viewed the Kurds as terrorists and insurgents. They’ve always been in conflict with each other because the Kurds wanted an independent territory in the region by separating themselves from Turkey. The military battles which have taken place between the two forces have cost Turkey hundreds of billions of dollars.
When the U.S. decided to lead a coalition against ISIS in northern Syria, the Turkish government agreed to back off from the Kurds and allow supplies to be delivered to them through their borders. As the American presence remained in Syria, the Turks did not go on the offensive with the Kurds. They allowed the U.S. and Kurdish soldiers to fight ISIS without any interference.
Reaction to President Trump’s Decision
Now everything has changed because of President Trump’s recent decision. It became an instant controversy in Washington, D.C. between the president and both political parties. Surprisingly, most of the Republicans and Democrats agree that the withdrawal is a mistake because it means the U.S. is abandoning its Kurdish allies who’ve helped them battle ISIS. The Turkish military has already crossed the border and moved in on the Kurdish forces just as the American troops were leaving.
American government lawmakers fear that thousands of Kurds will be slaughtered at the hands of the Turks. If that happens, then the Kurds will likely never want to be allied with U.S. forces ever again for abandoning them. What’s worse is that the 10,000 ISIS fighters in captivity have reportedly escaped and are rejoining their comrades in Syria. If there is a resurgence of ISIS, then it could mean the last five years of war were for nothing.
Do you agree with the withdrawal of troops? Let us know in the comments.
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