Never before in history has the US worked with a group and then opened the skies to have another US ally bomb and destroy it. On October 9, the Syrian Democratic Forces, a group of mostly Kurdish fighters who fought ISIS for five years and helped create a peaceful and stable area in northeast Syria, were bombed and bombarded by Turkey as US forces withdrew and watched. In an unprecedented reversal for Washington’s policy in Syria the Americans armed, trained and encouraged the SDF to liberate wide swaths of Syria from ISIS only to turn around on October 6 and, under the leadership of US President Donald Trump, give Turkey the open skies and borders to attack US partner forces. Like thieves in the night, US forces withdrew from their positions without explanation, processes, discussions, or leaving behind people to monitor the area, and made it clear to Ankara that nothing would be done to impede an attack. NATO appeared to give tacit approval to Turkey, a member state, to invade northeast Syria, while many European countries expressed concern. Some of these countries, such as the UK and France, had been partners with the US in the coalition against ISIS and had fought alongside the SDF for years. They too were not informed on October 6 as the US decided to say that ISIS detainees were not Turkey’s responsibility and that the US would withdraw from the border. Paris and London appear dismayed that Turkey has invaded, but like the US, they don’t want to do anything to prevent their SDF partners from being killed in airstrikes.
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