President Donald Trump received major backlash on Monday morning after the White House announced late Sunday night it will remove troops in northern Syria. This will allow Turkey to start its offensive, effectively leaving the Kurds unprotected.

Officials told Fox News that Trump’s decision “completely blindsided” those at the Pentagon. Others said the move betrayed the Kurds because Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not hide his hatred of the Kurds.

America has 1,000 troops in Syria. They have worked with the Kurds to prevent another ISIS uprising.

Trump first made his intentions known last December to withdraw from Syria. This led to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s resignation and condemnation from his security team. Trump withdrew his idea and allowed some troops to remain in Syria.

America and Turkey tried to negotiate “a kind of buffer zone along the Turkey-Syria border.” They eventually came to an agreement to push the Kurds “away from the border,” but they could not agree on the distance. Turkey wanted to move them 19 miles from the border, but America wanted the Kurds placed at nine miles.

Erdogan promised Turkey will begin an “‘air and ground military operation’ east of the Euphrates River in northeastern Syria.”

However, Erdogan’s government also said America has not done “enough to expel Syrian Kurdish fighters from the border region, and could take matters into their own hands ‘as soon as today or tomorrow.'”

Erdogan does not keep his hatred of Kurds a secret from anyone. He considers the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian Kurds helping to defeat ISIS, “as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years.”

Many nations, including America, have listed PKK as a terrorist group. Turkey declared YPG a terrorist group in 2018.

YPG changed its name to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) back in 2017. Special Operations Command Head U.S. Army General Raymond Thomas encouraged the group to do this due to Turkish concerns that YPG has a connection to PKK.

SDF swore it would do anything to protect itself if Turkey attacks the group.

The SDF and Kurds have pulled more than its fair share to expel ISIS from Syria.

During the height of the ISIS caliphate, evidence came out that Turkey acted as a safe haven for fighters. ISIS hopefuls used Turkey as a gateway to Syria.

In 2014, one ISIS fighter told The Jerusalem Post that “Turkey paved the way for us” and without Turkey, ISIS “would not be in its current place.” He even noted that ISIS fighters received medical treatment in the NATO country.

A nurse came out a few months later confirming the fighter’s latter statement. A woman only know as E.G. said she was “sick of treating wounded ISIL militants.” She explained the men check into the hospital under fake names, including a few leaders.

A year later in 2015 one western official told The Guardian a USB found at the compound of Abu Sayyaf, an ISIS leader, provided evidence that linked Turkey to ISIS.

 
 
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