President of United States Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria did not go well with the Kurds from both the countries. Angry over the withdrawal and abandonment of allied Kurdish-backed fighters, they pelted fruits and stones at the 500-strong convoy as the US troops started withdrawing from the Turkey-Syrian border on Monday.
As per reports, about 500 US personnel withdrew to Iraq early from Syria on Monday morning. The incident occurred in particular at Qamishli, a northern Syria town near the Turkish border. At another location, a group of protesters raised banners to departing troops, cited reports. The development comes after US Defence Secretary Mark Esper's statement that the 1,000 American service members in Syria would go into western Iraq to help defend the country and perform a counter-IS mission.
A video by the Kurdish news agency showed people in the street hurling potatoes at the vehicles, shouting, “No America,” and “America liar,” in English.
Kurds were the US’s ally in the fights against the Islamic State group’s rule over the northeast and eastern Syria. Following the recent deal between the US and Turkey, they had to leave a section of the border and hand it over to Turkish-backed forces as a "safe zone".
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, during a visit to Kabul, said that the US is in talks on keeping a small residual US military force to secure oil fields in eastern Syria while continuing the fight against Islamic State militants. He further added that final decision has not been on the same and has not presented it to Trump yet underscoring the importance of protecting the oil fields from IS to ensure the militants do not profit from them.
Currently, US troops are still guarding the oil fields. Complete withdrawal from Syria could take weeks; troops around the town of Kobani on the border with Turkey are the first that are leaving. Pentagon aims to ensure the safety of the force as they leave Syria, leaving many other US personnel in the country, for now, he said.