A US veteran who fought alongside the Kurds said Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of northern Syria was an “abandonment of trust,” suggesting the move could lead to the “wholesale slaughter” of allied forces.
Michael Newton, an Army veteran with deployment experience in Operation Provide Comfort, which defended Kurdish civilians as they fled their homes in northern Iraq in the aftermath of the Gulf War, said the Kurds were people “who believe in basic Democratic values and have long been oppressed from lots of quarters” in an interview with The Independent on Thursday.
“The reason why the US has had such a strong relationship with the Kurds is because they believe in human dignity and fundamental human rights, and they’ve been oppressed many, many, many times,” he said. “The only beacons of stability and peace in that region are Kurdish-controlled areas.”
As he spoke, Turkish forces were invading northeastern Syria and unleashing a major air and ground offensive, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announcing at least 109 people had been killed in the operation. Some of those reported deaths likely included fighters from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a militia composed of Kurds and other groups that’s spearheaded by the Kurdish People’s Protection Unity (YPG).
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