U.S. Begins Withdrawal From Northern Syria- Sparking Backlash

President Donald Trump disembarks Marine One.

President Donald Trump disembarks Marine One on the PCU Gerald R. Ford, Newport News, Virginia, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On Sunday night, the White House announced its plans to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria; this comes after President Trump ordering the full withdrawal of U.S. troops in December of 2018. Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that a Turkish invasion “could come at any moment,” [1] especially without the U.S. troops in Syria anymore.

Withdrawal From Syria

At the end of 2018, Trump ordered the full withdrawal of 2,000 U.S. forces from northern Syria, after he announced his decision to remove troops from Syria, he received intense backlash, causing him to reverse his decision, leaving some U.S. troops in Syria.

Lately, Turkey has been planning on establishing what it calls a “safe zone” in northern Syria- a place where it can resettle around 3.6 million Syrian refugees who fled Syria and currently live in Turkey. However, Kurds in Syria believe that Turkey only wants to remake the demographic composition of the country- pouring Sunni Muslims into Syria.

Although at the annual United Nations assembly, Syria demanded that all foreign forces remove their troops from Syria, there has been an incredible amount of backlash over Trump’s decision to leave Syria. “The United States and Turkey maintain an illegal military presence in northern Syria,” al-Moallem told the annual U.N. General Assembly on Saturday morning. “Any foreign forces operating in our territories without our authorization are occupying forces and should withdraw immediately.”

A statement from the White House press secretary referenced that Trump had spoken to Erdogan by phone after months of peace negotiations fell apart. “The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area,” the statement reads. [2]

Figure it Out

On Monday, Trump tweeted that it was now up to the eastern countries to figure out what to do, “Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will …figure the situation out.” Trump said in a tweet. “They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years.”

Backlash

Former national security advisor Brett McGurk said that Trump’s decision “demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of anything happening on the ground.”


Notes:

  1. ^Evans, Zachary. “U.S. Begins Withdrawal from Northern Syria, Leaving Kurds Vulnerable ahead of Expected Turkish Invasion.” National Review, 7 Oct. 2019, www.nationalreview.com/news/us-begins-withdrawal-from-northern-syria-alarming-kurds. (go back↩)
  2. ^EGQPTL2U8AAEX1y.jpg (JPEG Image, 1199 × 634 pixels).” 7 Oct. 2019, pbs.twimg.com/media/EGQPTL2U8AAEX1y.jpg. (go back↩)

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