Yesterday, the Trump administration took an unearned victory lap after Vice President Mike Pence claimed to have worked out a ceasefire agreement in Syria between Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The celebration was absurd at face value because it essentially boiled down to Donald Trump bragging about ending the violence that he himself ignited by greenlighting a Turkish military campaign against our allies in the region.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out that the Trump administration’s announcement was made prematurely and the so-called “ceasefire” has already fallen apart. Rolling Stone reports that mere hours after Trump touted the pause in fighting, Turkey carried out an airstrike in Syria which claimed the lives of five civilians.
“Five civilians were killed in Turkish airstrikes on the village of Bab al-Kheir, east of Ras al-Ain,” the chief of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahman revealed, according to The Times of Israel.
Additionally, four SDF fighters were reportedly killed in the strike. In addition to the airstrike, there are reports of numerous violent clashes, including artillery bombings, being carried out.
The continued violence exposes the farce that is the Trump administration’s approach to this entire bloody debacle. The president clearly could not care less about the reality on the ground and the lives being lost. As always, he’s far more concerned with the media coverage and how he appears to his supporters. Rather than actually forge a solution to the problem he’s created, he’d prefer to simply claim that it’s been solved and move on. He knows the MAGA movement lives in a reality of his making and will swallow down whatever lies he serves up without a second thought.
Turkey, for its part, seems completely uninterested in what the Trump administration has to say about the conflict. Earlier today, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed Trump for the infantile letter the American president on sent Oct. 9th and promised that Turkey will “do what is necessary” in response to the United States “when the times comes.” Clearly, the American president has no idea what he’s doing or how to proceed. Erdogan has played him for a fool, getting just about everything he and his Turkish nationalist supporters want in the process.
Meanwhile, people are dying and our brave Kurdish allies have been thrown to the wolves. At this point, it’s difficult to imagine an outcome that amounts to anything less than abject tragedy. Not only does Trump lack the diplomatic skill to end the fighting, he seems completely uninterested in doing so. It’s not enough that our leader is an utter ignoramus, he’s also a coward to his rotten core.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.