President Trump’s announcement to withdraw all U.S. forces from northern Syria came as a bombshell for the Syrian Democratic Forces who sacrificed many of their ranks on the bloody battlefields of northeast Syria, to defeat fanatical ISIS combatants prepared to fight to the last man and woman.
The top Kurdish commander of U.S.-backed SDF forces, Mazlum Kobone, said himself that more than 11,000 of his soldiers were killed in the war against ISIS. The U.S. supplied essential aerial bombardments and logistical advice but it was the local fighters on the ground who bore the brunt of the bloodshed.
The latest White House statement never once mentioned the contribution of those SDF combatants – the vast majority made up of Syrian-Kurdish YPG fighters — and took sole U.S. credit for defeating the ISIS territorial “Caliphate.”
Now it appears the Trump administration is abandoning those Kurdish allies altogether, in favor of the Kurds’ nemesis, the Turkish government. Turkey has been fighting separatist Kurds across the border inside its own territory for decades, and in recent years has incurred several times into Syria to fight against Syrian Kurds.