U.S. Withdraw From Syria


Hussein Malla

Nicholas Millard, National and World News

        On October 7, 2019, a majority of politicians on both sides of party lines turned their descent to President Donald Trump, and his decision to go through with removing American support from Syria and the Kurdish fighters. A majority of the outrage and anger stems from first, that Turkey will take up the U.S.’s place. Second, that the Kurdish fighters in the area are allied with the U.S. and if we were to leave, we would be abandoning them with all of the captured ISIS members the two groups have gathered over the small campaign.

        The White House’s announcement that the U.S. would leave Turkey to deal with the area appalled military leaders as many of them weren’t aware this was happening. Some senior officers working within the pentagon claimed that they had been blindsided by this decision. This was not the first time Trump changed Syrian policy out of the blue.   The core of this issue is that it has been confirmed that Turkey will be whipping away the terrorist groups in the area and create a safe zone for Syrian refugees to return to. Not only would it include ISIS and other terrorist groups, but it would also include one of the U.S.’s allies in the region, the Kurdish forces, who are part of the Syrian Democratic Forces.  In addition, the land they plan to create a safe zone contains many Syrians and Kurds. This would displace many people off the homeland, creating an even higher loss of Kurdish life, to the degree that some politicians say this could be another Kurdish genocide. Trump later tweeted statements refuting this by saying that “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off-limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.” He also later added that the Kurdish Forces, who the U.S. has been working with heavily to stop ISIS, is a terrorist group, flying in the face of fact and U.S. policy.

       Reports from some of the Kurdish Forces state that they were blindsided by the decision and felt betrayed by the U.S. Even some Republicans didn’t find the idea to be a good one.   Senator Lindsey Graham, who is usually a staunch defender of Trump, states that he made “an impulsive decision that has long-term ramifications” and “cuts against sound military and geopolitical advice.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also stated that Trump needs to “exercise American leadership” adding that the withdrawal would only help Russia and Iran. Other Republicans highly stressed that this will allow, without the U.S. as a bulwark in the area, the captured ISIS members to return back to the group. Trump has stated the U.S. has been the ones holding the detainees, but reports from the Washington Post and the New York Times refute this claim, stating that the Kurdish Forces are the ones holding them and they will be unable to hold them.

       It is currently unclear what will happen going forward. It’s not unreasonable to believe that with both parties and the majority of Trump’s own supporter’s condemnation on his shoulders, he might turn him back with completely following through with his plans. But even so, this event will shape U.S. foreign policy for the upcoming future.