The day after to Kurdish General Mazlum Abdi issued a direct plea to Donald Trump to “stop this war,” and warning that Turkey was engaging in “ethnic cleansing” of the Kurdish population in northeastern Syria, as The Inquisitr reported, the same top commander now says that the United States has engaged in “deceit” against the Kurds.
Mazlum, as he is widely known, told Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin in a telephone interview on Sunday that the U.S. “asked us to destroy our fortifications, withdraw our heavy weapons.” He then accused the Americans of accompanying Turkish troops on “joint patrols” to spy on the Kurdish positions, Griffin reported via her Twitter account.
“They came with cheat and deceit,” the general, who commands the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Force — which was also the central unit in the war against the Islamic State — told Griffin.
Mazlum claimed in his interview with Griffin that the Turkish forces had carried out 15 airstrikes against his SDF Kurdish troops in the three days since, as The Inquisitr reported. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced a supposed cease-fire deal in the conflict which began after Trump announced that he had ordered U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria and not to get involved when Turkey carried out its military assault on the Kurds.
SDF Commander-in-Chief Mazlum Abdi clearly says the ceasefire deal only for the area between Tal Abyad + Ras al Ain.
He said would not be possible for Turkish army to enter Kobani and Cizere & ready if Turkey will decide attack other areas pic.twitter.com/xvrzLgztOg
— Wladimir (@vvanwilgenburg) October 20, 2019
Mazlum also told Griffin that Kurds in the region under assault by the Turkish military had suffered more than 500 civilian casualties, and more than 400,000 Kurds had been driven from their homes, according to an account of Griffin’s interview by MediaIte.
Despite the “deceit” he feels at the hands of the United States, Mazlum told Griffin that the Kurdish forces are nonetheless fulfilling their promise to Trump to continue guarding prisons where Islamic State fighters remain in custody, according to the MediaIte account.
Trump’s decision to pull back U.S. troops and allow the Turkish assault on the Kurds received criticism from another important source — after the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 354-60, to condemn Trump’s move. On Saturday, retired General David Petraeus — the former top commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan — called Trump’s sudden decision a “betrayal.”
Petraeus in an interview with National Public Radio also said that while the desire to minimize the danger to U.S. troops in the region is understandable, “we’d essentially done that.”
The retired general said that U.S. troops were “not fighting on the front lines — we were enabling those who were doing that,” he said, adding that the Kurdish forces “bore the brunt” of the front-line fighting in the region.