A new report from CNN has multiple sources from inside the Pentagon criticizing President Donald Trump’s demands to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, with one official telling the news outlet a 120-day timeline presented was “trying to please the President and not get everyone killed.”
President Trump has few to no supporters in his Department of Defense for his decision to pull 2,000 U.S. troops out of the country, where they have been fighting since 2015 with a coalition of regional forces to wipe out ISIS. As reported by the Inquisitr, his decision to withdraw from the area came following a phone conversation with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, although President Trump has made ending U.S. participation in Middle East wars a regular rallying cry since his 2016 election campaign.
Despite this fact, once elected President Trump gave his generals time to attempt to accomplish their military objectives in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. That time is coming to an end, at least for Syria. As per the Inquisitr, Trump’s estimate of four months is giving Pentagon officials fits.
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) January 3, 2019
“The minimum period required to execute this reckless decision is now being portrayed as ‘well thought out and deliberate’ when it’s neither of those things,” another source told CNN. “It’s a total capitulation to Erdogan and an abandonment of the very fighters in Syria who are fighting ISIS and protecting US forces. The military simply cannot get out safely in less than 120 days.”
That source is referring to Kurdish forces who have long been touted as America’s most reliable and capable allies in the fight against ISIS. But those same forces are seen by Turkey as terrorists, and their goal of establishing an independent Kurdish state puts them at odds with Syria and Iraq. A quick withdrawal leaves them at the mercy of their many enemies in the region, echoing a similar betrayal the Kurds experienced when coalition forces called on them to rise up against Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. America would end up leaving with Hussein still in control, leaving Kurds at the mercy of a man who had already led a genocide against their people to the tune of 50,000 to 180,000 deaths.
President Trump specifically referenced the Kurds while speaking with reporters at the White House on Wednesday about the planned withdrawal.
“I didn’t like the fact that they’re selling the small oil that they have to Iran, and we asked them not to sell it to Iran… We’re not thrilled about that. OK? I’m not happy about it at all,” Trump said (via Reuters) “We want to protect the Kurds, nevertheless. We want to protect the Kurds, but I don’t want to be in Syria forever. It’s sand. And it’s death.”