Slippery slope of new Syria policy

Trump wrongly turns his back on Kurds, more than just lives lost



Digital cartoon by Katie Kerrigan. Nov. 5, 2019

Abigail Hicks, Staff Writer

Adding another blunder to his political career, President Donald Trump recently made a grave mistake in his decision to relocate U.S. troops in Syria.

In early October, President Trump decided to pull troops from the Turkey-Syria border upon hearing from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone call that Turkey planned to carry out an invasion of Kurdish Syria.

While his intentions of protecting American troops do not go unappreciated seeing that their well-being was a pivotal part of his 2016 campaign, a slew of problems has come along with it.

Naturally, the biggest concern was the future of the Kurds, a United States ally.

Tensions between Kurdish people in Syria and Turkey started long ago with the beginning of Kurdish separatists in Turkey, according to These separatists in Turkey are considered terrorists by the government and are believed to be linked to Kurds in northern Syria.

While a 120-hour cease-fire had been negotiated with Turkey, the death count and humanitarian effect should not go unnoticed. After the invasion, 100,000 people had been displaced and 60 civilians died, according to and the

The extraction of 1,000 soldiers from Northern Syria essentially made it easier for Turkish forces to attack Kurdish troops and civilians. Abandoning the main Middle Eastern ally the U.S. has in the fight against ISIS did not do any favors for the future of the main characters playing in the Middle East either.

Hours after the ceasefire negotiations finished, violations from Turkey occurred. With the United States unable to effectively maintain a ceasefire, Vladimir Putin came in from behind with a plan and successfully negotiated to allow the Syrian military to enter into Kurdish areas in order to slow down Turkish advances.

While the White House did make an attempt to stop Turkey from advancing even more than it had, it paled in comparison to the deal Russia formed. Russia emerged as a saving grace with its decision to step-in, leaving the United States as an after-thought.
Pulling out of Syria in the thick of conflict also painted the White House as wildly unreliable in the fight against ISIS, where Kurdish forces have helped capture and imprison Islamic State members for years.

Amidst the Turkish airstrikes, hundreds of suspected ISIS members have escaped, according to After years spent with the Kurds detaining members and lessening their power, some of the progress made through joint efforts was lost. This loss proves detrimental to the efforts being made to restrain terrorism and allows the Middle East to grow even more unstable.

President Trump should try his best to patch up relations with the Kurdish people who he so quickly abandoned. However long it will take, the effort required to regain their trust is the least they deserve.