ISIS, Russia, Iran, Syria, and Turkey are happy. America’s allies are not
As expected, President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops away from the Syria–Turkey border, effectively endorsing a Turkish assault on the U.S.-allied Kurds occupying northern Syria, has been a disaster. Trump made the call last Sunday after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, and without consulting the Pentagon or Congress. Less than a week later, Trump ordered the removal all U.S. troops from the region, further endangering the Kurdish people, strengthening ISIS, and ceding influence to some of America’s chief adversaries. In return, the U.S. has, to date, received nothing.
Here’s what else Trump has wrought:
130,000 Kurds have been forced to flee their homes, hundreds have died
The United Nations announced on Sunday that 130,000 Kurds have evacuated their homes as a result of the invasion, nothing that the number stands to rise as Turkey continues its assault. According to CBS News, an independent war-monitoring group in the U.K. found that as of Monday 60 civilians and more than 200 fighters (121 SDF members and 86 pro-turkey militants) have been killed as a result of the offensive.
ISIS prisoners have escaped
The Kurds were holding 11,000 ISIS prisoners in norther Syria, along with thousands of other ISIS women and children. By pulling back U.S. troops and allowing Turkey to slaughter the Kurds, Trump has allowed for the possibility that many of these prisoners, who were apprehended through a years-long effort at at the expense of thousands of Kurdish lives, would escape or be released.
On Friday, a spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that five ISIS militants had escaped from a prison outside of Qamishli.