United States President Donald Trump on October 8 shifted his previously stern tone on retracting US troops from the northeastern border of Syria, said that even if the country is in the process of leaving Syria, they have “in no way abandoned the Kurds” and further called the Kurdish force “wonderful fighters” and “special people”. However, this statement has not been well received by the other US officials like Senator Bob Casey, who thinks President Trump has shamefully betrayed the Kurds.
Kurdish forces have been a steadfast U.S. ally and President Trump has shamefully betrayed them.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) October 7, 2019
On October 7, US announced that American forces will be leaving the northeastern border while Turkey claimed that they are ready for the operation against IS. There were nearly 1,000 US troops in northern Syria, however, it still remains unclear if this statement will follow the withdrawal of all of them. Turkey has reportedly been planning this operation for a long time in northern Syria. A US official reportedly told an international agency that American forces had also evacuated on two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border. Moreover, troops deployed in other areas were purportedly still in position.
As soon as President Trump announced the dislocation of the US troops, the President had to face heavy criticism from many leaders. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a “foolish attempt”, Senator Bob Casey also feels that turning backs on their time of need is, in turn, going to make the United States unsafe. Senator Lindsay Graham said that the US will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they are planning to invade Syria. The retired Army general who also headed Central Command's military operations, Joesph Votel also said that the sudden change in the policy this week has broken the trust at the “most crucial juncture and leaves our partners” with limited options. A Syria scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Jonathan Schanzer said that he is “alarmed” by the decision of retracting US troops from the Syrian border.
Once again, @realDonaldTrump is deserting an ally in a foolish attempt to appease a foreign strongman – this time betraying our Kurdish allies who have been instrumental partners in our mission to eradicate ISIS. https://t.co/Bfa1MzxxCU— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 7, 2019
Just spoke to Sen @ChrisVanHollen about situation in Syria.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 7, 2019
We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the U.S. in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate.
Turning our back on the Kurdish people in their time of need will make our nation less safe. Potential allies will no longer trust our government.— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) October 7, 2019
I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, continue to be alarmed by the decision to throw the Kurds to the wolves.— Jonathan Schanzer (@JSchanzer) October 8, 2019
(With agency inputs)