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U.S. pulls out of northeastern Syria

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 10/07/19, 12:40 pm

The United States will abandon the Kurdish fighters who supported American troops in the yearslong fight against Islamic State (ISIS) insurgents. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham confirmed Sunday that 1,000 U.S. troops stationed in Kurdish regions of northeastern Syria “will no longer be in the immediate area.” The withdrawal, first announced in December, followed a Sunday phone conversation between President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

What will happen to the Kurds? The withdrawal has raised fears of renewed fighting between Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Erdogan views the Kurds as terrorists and has long threatened to launch a military operation across the Turkey-Syria border. Trump warned in a tweet Monday that he would “obliterate the Economy of Turkey” if Erdogan went too far. He called on others in the region to “protect their own territory.” SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said the region will turn into a war zone if the United States leaves and warned the forces will “defend northeast Syria at all costs.”

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s analysis of the impact of the U.S. turnabout in Syria.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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  •  nevertheless's picture
    Posted: Sat, 10/12/2019 12:14 pm

    " ...but you can never please all of the people all of the time." I enjoyed the President's balanced public talk last evening (during presser with Japanese Prime minister) in which he noted the complicated geopolitical calculations made in such a decision. If the president (and by association the might of the United States) cannot guarantee the independence and freedom of the Kurdish nation except with a twenty to thirty year war (with no guarantee of success!) then we shouldn't be waging one by our self.

  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Tue, 10/08/2019 01:55 pm

    If I recall, President Trump closed the border through a travel ban against Syrian Christians seeking assylum in the US. I'm not sure our military presence in Syria is accomplishing anything in the way of peace in the Middle East, or supporting religious freedom world wide, but Trump was a few weeks ago supporting Saudi Arabia against an attack from Iran. There's no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. If we pull out of Syria, we may as well pull all our troops.