JERUSALEM, Israel - On Sunday the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) struck a deal with the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to push back Turkey’s invasion into northeast Syria. Russia mediated the deal and the move changes the complexion of the war with unseen and perhaps disastrous consequences for the Middle East.
Turkish forces continue their offensive along a wide area of the Turkish-Syrian border. US Officials said the scope of the invasion is larger than they were told.
The Turkish invasion is spearheaded by jihadist troops called the Free Syrian Army. They have already committed atrocities including the execution of Kurdish soldiers and the murder of a prominent Kurdish politician.
These jihadists shouted they came to free ISIS prisoners and hundreds of ISIS supporters have already escaped. Some warn the pullout of the US presence will reignite the war against ISIS.
All this comes after President Donald Trump ordered the pullout of 1,000 troops from northeast Syria, a move criticized by many of his supporters.
“Leaving an ally behind, abandoning people we frankly told we would be with, it's disheartening and depressing and weak,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on ‘Face the Nation’.
Yet current Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the US was not able to stop Turkey.
“Turkey committed this action, they decided to make an incursion in north Syria despite our protestations, or urgings not to do it,” Esper said.
But many accuse the president of abandoning the US’ number one ally in the battle against ISIS. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes some Kurdish fighters along with other groups, says since the US would not stand with them, they had no choice but to turn to Assad and Russia.
Syrians celebrated this new alliance but for the SDF it was a bitter pill. Yet their choice was either Turkish genocide or submit to an authoritarian government. It also means Syria’s ally Iran is waiting in the wings to come in.
In the meantime, the fighting has left hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
CONFUSED about WHO'S WHO in the Turkish Invasion? CLICK BELOW for an EXPLANATION:
Who Is Turkey Attacking, and Why? This Will Help You Understand the Kurds and the People of Northeast Syria