29,610. 10/18/2019

KURDS/MILITARY/SYRIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TURKEY: “The United States had encouraged its Kurdish allies to dismantle their defenses in northern Syria, saying it would make it easier to assure Turkey that the Kurds posed no threat. So in recent months, according to three American officials involved, the Kurds blew up tunnels and destroyed trenches, leaving themselves vulnerable as the United States promised that it would have their back. Now, a week after President Trump’s decision to pull American support from them, the sense of betrayal among the Kurds, trusted allies now being forced to flee under assault from Turkey, is matched only by their outrage at who will move in: Turkish soldiers supported by Syrian fighters the United States had long rejected as extremists, criminals and thugs…The sudden empowerment of Turkish-backed Syrian militias is yet another swift turnaround in Syria’s eight-year-old war, and it was unleashed by President Trump’s decision to pull United States troops out of the way for a Turkish military incursion.”

Ben Hubbard and David D. Kirkpatrick, “Kurds’ Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals,” The New York Times online, October 18, 2019

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