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Trump tells our Kurdish allies they have to “figure it out” as he opens door for their ethnic cleansing

Trump tells our Kurdish allies they have to “figure it out” as he opens door for their ethnic cleansing

On Sunday night, the Trump administration announced that it was giving the green light for the Turkish army to launch an invasion of northern Syria after a private conversation with the Turkish President. To accommodate the expansionist ambitions of dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the White House announced it would be withdrawing U.S. military personnel from the invasion’s path.

The Turkish landgrab intends to fulfill two purposes. The first is to carve out a 300-mile “safe zone” in Syria where they will resettle at least a million Syrian refugees that currently reside in Turkey. Erdogan has threatened to send them into Europe should the international community complain about his plans, cynically using the lives of a million people as a political pawn and a cudgel with which to advance Turkey’s agenda.

The second is to break the power of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a multiethnic coalition led by the Syrian Kurdish YPG/YPS and includes other local tribal militias, which currently control significant portions of northern Syria on the border with Turkey. The Turks have long been waging a genocidal war against the separatist Kurds that live in southwest Turkey, and the existence of a de facto autonomous Kurdish enclave on the other side of the border is an existential threat that they cannot stand.

The SDF did all of the heavy lifting and took the most casualties during the still ongoing war against ISIS, and the president’s announcement is a stunning betrayal of one of America’s allies — and a betrayal of the greatest hope for democracy that the chaotic region has.

The presence of U.S. military forces has been a major deterrent preventing the areas that the SDF forces liberated from ISIS from being overrun by the Turks and their proxy militia forces. Trump’s bending over for Erdogan opens the door for ethnic cleansing in northern Syria, as the Turks will likely drive out the Kurdish and Yazidi populations and then resettle the area with Arabs like they did in the Kurdish canton of Afrin.

Trump attempted to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria earlier this year, prompting the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis and the U.S. Special Envoy to the global coalition against ISIS. He was eventually talked out of it by his advisors, but it appears that a personal phone call with Erdogan and all the flatteries whispered in his ear were enough to change his mind.

Trump took to Twitter on Monday to inform the Kurds that they will have to “figure the situation out for themselves” in a wild Twitter outburst that included once again threatening to release captured ISIS fighters back into Europe and falsely took credit for defeating ISIS, which belongs to the SDF.

Trump’s move was immediately met with furious outrage by members of both parties, who rightfully accused him of abandoning a key U.S. ally to the mercy of Turkish genocidaires and their jihadist allies.

President Trump is clearly intent on not only pushing an extreme nationalist agenda of right-wing ethnic purity not just at home but abroad as well, empowering dictators and siding with oppressors at every opportunity. Allowing the Turks to roll into northern Syria is going to open the door to mass ethnic cleansing, the return of ISIS, and the establishment of a jihadist enclave like al-Qaeda has built in nearby Idlib, and the extinguishing of any hope for stability in northern Syria for the foreseeable future.

His betrayal of the Kurds is the latest and one of the most egregious in a long tradition of America turning its back on the Kurds when it no longer suits us, and once again Trump has made it clear to the entire world that the United States cannot be trusted fulfill its obligations to anyone.

 

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