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U.S. has not ‘abandoned the Kurds’ in Syria, Trump says

U.S. has not ‘abandoned the Kurds’ in Syria, Trump says

2019/10/08 | 20:35

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- U.S. President Donald Trump, October 2019. Photo: AFP

WASHINGTON,— President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. has not “abandoned” its Kurdish allies inside Syria, continuing to give a mixed message to Turkey.

“We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters,” Trump tweeted.

This followed Trump’s decision announced Sunday to remove US troops from a crucial area of the Turkey-Syria border, seemingly giving a green light for Turkey to conduct long-planned operations inside Syria against its Kurdish foes.











Given that those same Kurdish groups have fought alongside US forces against the Islamic State movement in Syria, Trump’s decision was seen by prominent figures of his own Republican party as a betrayal.

Trump sought to explain his position Monday by stressing that Washington has an important relationship with NATO member and trading partner Turkey.

“So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the United States,” he said in another tweet.

Trump did not say he opposed any operation by Turkey against the Kurds, but warned that “unforced or unnecessary fighting” would prompt “devastating” consequences for the country’s economy.

On Monday, Trump threatened to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it did “anything outside of what we would think is humane.”

The United States views the Kurdish YPG as a close ally in the fight against the Islamic State group.

The Kurdish PYD and its powerful military wing YPG/YPJ, considered the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and U.S. has provided them with arms. The YPG, which is the backbone of the SDF forces, has seized swathes of Syria from Islamic State.

The Kurdish forces expelled the Islamic State from its last patch of territory in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz in March 2019. But in December 2018 U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced the pullout from Syria.

11,000 Kurdish fighters had been killed in five years of war to eliminate a “caliphate” that once covered an area the size of Great Britain in Syria and Iraq, Kurdish officials said.

Syria’s Kurds have established a semi-autonomous region in northeastern Syria during the country’s eight-year war.

In 2013, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party PYD — the political branch of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) — has established three autonomous Cantons of Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin and a Kurdish government across Syrian Kurdistan in 2013. On March 17, 2016, Kurdish and Arab authorities announced the creation of a “federal region” made up of those semi-autonomous regions in Syrian Kurdistan.

Copyright © 2019, respective author or news agency, Ekurd.net | AFP

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