Oct 11 2019

U.S. Army officials feel ashamed about Trump's decision to abandon Kurds - Foreign Policy

U.S. military officers who had direct experience with Kurdish forces in Syria, say they were crushed and bewildered by White House announcement on Oct. 6, Foreign Policy reported on Thursday.

U.S. President Donald Trump backed off from commitments to the Kurds to protect them from a unilateral Turkish invasion during a phone call on Sunday.

“I feel physically ill with worry and concern and deeply ashamed that my own country would permit this fate to befall our close allies who did all our fighting for us, when we had the power to prevent it,” Foreign Policy quoted a U.S. Marine who served in Syria in 2017-2018, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Turkey labels the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as terrorists and indistinguishable from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has battled for autonomy for more than three decades in Turkey.

And, the launch of the Turkish offensive comes after months of tensions with the United States over its backing of the YPG and its allies, which have played a key role in the fight against ISIS.

“As Turkey attacked, I couldn’t help but feel ashamed, number one, to have been part of it and, number two, that we, America, I believe are violating our values,” another U.S. Army officer said. “America in my mind is still the shining beacon on the hill, but we are not living up to that right now.”

Current and retired U.S. military officers interviewed by Foreign Policy said YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was a great partner to the United States and shared U.S. values like equal rights for women, freedom of speech and religion.

“This was the first opportunity I have seen to actually achieve our end-state objectives because we had a partner that very closely shares our American values,” a U.S. military officer said.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/10/kurds-syrian-democratic-forces-us-donald-trump/