In a move that was cast by critics as both irresponsible and a betrayal of key allies in the Middle East, President Donald Trump announced Sunday that U.S. forces are withdrawing from north-eastern Syria and leaving the region’s Kurdish population vulnerable to slaughter as neighboring Turkey readies an invasion.
“Trump inviting Turkey to ‘move forward with long-planned operation in Northern Syria’ is deeply chilling.”
—Daniel Nichanian, Justice Collaborative
“The Americans are traitors,” a Kurdish official told NBC News as the news broke late Sunday night. “They have abandoned us to a Turkish massacre.”
In a statement Sunday, the Trump administration said that U.S. forces would stand down in advance of a “long-planned operation into Northern Syria” by Turkey.
“The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area,” said the White House.
In a tweet, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the withdrawl was “likely to result in more suffering and instability.”