Less than 24 hours after the White House announced that Donald Trump ordered United States troops away from the border between Syria and Turkey, green-lighting a Turkish invasion aimed at the Kurdish fighters there who led the battle against the terrorist group ISIS, reports came out of the region that Turkish warplanes were already attacking a convoy of Kurd soldiers in the region. Reporting via its Twitter account, the news site PoliticTurk posted images that it said showed the Turkish attack on an aid convoy bringing supplies to the YPG, or People’s Protection Units, a Kurdish militia that has spearheaded the war against ISIS in Syria.
Also on Monday morning, details began to emerge of the Sunday phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to the White House statement, it prompted Trump to announce the sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces.
One National Security Council official told Newsweek that on the call, Trump “got rolled” by Erdogan. The official, who had “first-hand knowledge” of the call, revealed that Erdogan had already announced his intention to invade Syria and attack Kurds there before he got on the phone with Trump, who simply acquiesced, announcing the U.S. troop pullout “to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something.”
SON DAKİKA???? Türk savaş uçaklarının Irak Suriye sınırında vurduğu YPG hedefine ilişkin ilk görüntüler (Kürtler tarafından çekilmiş)
— POLİTİCTÜRK (@politicturk) October 7, 2019
In the White House statement, Trump spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said that the United States would transfer custody of ISIS prisoners in Syria to Turkey, supposedly saving money for “U.S. taxpayers.”
But as The Inquisitr reported, the former U.S. envoy to the coalition against ISIS, Brett McGurk, blasted that claim, saying that the U.S. holds no ISIS prisoners.
Instead, McGurk said, those prisoners are in the custody of the Kurdish forces — the same Kurdish forces now forced to flee or battle Turkey, creating the likelihood that the ISIS fighters being held in Syria will simply escape and regroup to commit new acts of terror.
“U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine,” the NSC official told Newsweek.
Until Sunday’s announcement, Trump had repeatedly warned Erdogan, who considers the Kurds in Syria to be anti-Turkish terrorists, against attacking Kurdish forces. But those warnings, it now appears, were ignored by Eroga. While allying with the Kurdish fighters in the war against ISIS was official U.S. policy, Trump’s announcement Sunday marked a sudden and unexpected reversal of that long-standing policy, according to a New York Times report.
Though Trump on Monday claimed that the pullout of U.S. troops was a fulfillment of his campaign promise to end U.S. involvement in Middle East wars, The New York Times reported that U.S. troops would simply pull back from the Syria-Turkey border, clearing the way for the Turkish assault, but would not be leaving Syria.