American soldiers who fought alongside the Kurds in America’s Middle Eastern military endeavors are slamming Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, leaving the American allies open to aggression from Turkey.
Reuters interviewed eight current and former soldiers who have gone into battle with Kurdish allies at their side, and they are unanimous in their opinion of Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria: It’s a betrayal.
One such former soldier, 66-year-old former Army Special Forces soldier Greg Walker, describes an incident during which a Kurdish soldier risked his life to save Walker. The two men were passing through a checkpoint in Iraq when three Iraqi soldiers pulled their guns on them. Walker returned to his vehicle, but on hearing the sounds of weapons being readied, his Kurdish bodyguard Azaz turned around and confronted the three Iraqis. Azaz told the “terrified” Iraqis to let them through or he would kill them all.
“This is the kind of ally and friend I want,” said Walker of Azaz.
Walker says he is “furious” at Trump’s abrupt decision to remove the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops from Syria, leaving them exposed to aggression from the Turks.
Another former soldier, Mark Giaconia, spoke similarly of the Kurds’ valiance.
“I trusted them with my life. I fought with these guys and watched them die for us,” he said.
Further, he said that the decision to withdraw from Syria “feels like a violation of trust.”
Syrians fleeing the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria arrive at a camp in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
Thousands of people, mostly women and children, have fled fighting in northeastern Syria and crossed into Iraq, the UNHCR says
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— AFP news agency (@AFP) October 21, 2019
As it turns out, fears that Turkey, which calls the Kurds a “terrorist group,” would attack the exposed Kurds came true, as the Turkish military did indeed make an incursion into Turkish territory.
Trump, for his part, has insisted that the Kurds “are not angels” and defended the decision to leave them exposed, and, as reported by The Inquisitr, noting that they didn’t help the U.S. during World War II at Normandy.
As for the Turkish military incursion into Kurdish territory, Trump sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, telling him not to be a “tough guy” or a “fool.” Erdogan reportedly threw the letter in the trash.
The Kurds, however, seem to view betrayal as par for the course. Even as far back as the Nixon administration, the U.S. helped the Kurds only to turn on them later.
Kardos Dargala, a 38-year-old Iraqi Kurd who began been fighting alongside U.S. troops in the region in 2004, says that his people have come to expect betrayal.
“Feeling betrayed, throughout history it is a very familiar pattern,” he said.