As Donald Trump Golfed Saturday, Turkey Said It ‘Neutralized’ Kurd Leader Hevrin Khalaf, Executed On Roadside

Burak KaraGetty Images

Donald Trump faced widespread criticism for hitting the golf links on Saturday as a humanitarian crisis unfolded in Syria. Turkish armed forces and militia groups backed by Syria are waging deadly assaults against the Kurdish people living there — an attack that Trump seemingly green-lighted last week when he ordered United States troops pulled back from the region. The Kurds were closely allied with the U.S. in the war against ISIS, but now Kurdish leaders say that Trump has left them to be “slaughtered” by the Turkish invasion, as The Inquisitr reported.

Trump played golf at his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, for what was estimated to be his 236th visit to a golf course in the 996 days of his term so far. Those figures mean that Trump has spent at least part of about 24 percent of his days in office — nearly one of every four — on a golf course. This led to a Democratic presidential contender to point out that Trump was golfing on Saturday, “while American allies are being slaughtered and ISIS prisoners in Syria are running free,” as quoted by the news site Raw Story.

Writer Molly Jong-Fast also commented, per Raw Story, that Trump went “golfing while America’s loyalest allies in the Middle East are slaughtered.”

CNN producer Jason Morrell posted a photo of Trump on the golf course to verify that Trump was indeed playing golf on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, however, Turkish-backed Arab militia fighters summarily executed 35-year-old Hevrin Khalaf, who was secretary general of the Kurdish Future Syria Party, and who was “working to unite Arabs, Christians, and Kurds in NE Syria,” according to Brett McGurk, former United States envoy to the coalition against ISIS, writing on Twitter.

According to a statement by the Syrian Democratic Council, Khalaf, who was unarmed, was ambushed on an international road, dragged from her car, and summarily executed. Her driver was also murdered in the attack, according to the SDC statement.

McGurk, in his Twitter post, condemned the killing of Khalaf as “a war crime.” But the pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, on its own Twitter account, described the killing of the Kurdish leader, one of the most prominent women in Kurdish leadership, differently.

The Turkish newspaper said that Khalaf was “neutralized” in a “successful operation.” The paper also described the Future Syria Party as “one of the political extensions of the terrorist organization PYD.”

The PYD, or Democratic Union Party, is considered one of the most important political parties in the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.