U.S. Withdraws From Syria

In a stunning and unexpected move, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a total withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria, greenlighting a Turkish invasion to suppress long-time U.S. ally Kurdish-backed the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting the Islamic State. His announcement came after a phone conversation with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Trump drew immediate criticism, even from within his own party. Though Trump defended the move by saying the ISIS “Caliphate” had been defeated, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called it a “disaster in the making.” Although the Kurds have been staunch U.S. allies in the campaign to defeat ISIS, Turkey considers elements of the Kurdish military to be terrorists. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Trump faced immediate criticism for his decision, despite previously warning Turkey not to target the Kurds. Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona called “allowing Turkey to move into Northern Syria is one of the most destabilizing moves we can do in the Middle East.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Syrian Kurdish fighters warned that if the U.S. withdrew and Turkey proceeded to invade, more than 10,000 Islamic militants in the region could launch a mass prison break. U.S. troops were helping the Kurds guard the prisoners. Kurds in the region are also accusing the U.S. of abandoning them. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Jack Keane also warned that Turkey’s military incursion into Syria could cause the Kurds to flee, leaving thousands of ISIS prisoners unguarded. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

A U.S. Special Forces soldiers told Fox News that he was “ashamed for the first time” in his career at the withdrawal. Reported by Fox News. Read more… 

The dispute within the White House on whether to withdraw from Syria has been a long-running one, ultimately leading to the resignations of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and National Security Advisor Jim Bolton. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

France’s prime minster, Edouard Phillippe, said that French forces would remain in Syria to fight against ISIS and defend Kurdish-led forces fighting the terror group. Phillippe said, “The fight against Daesh [ISIS] is not over and continues alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces.” The SDF are primarily led by Syrian Kurds. He also directed some implied criticism toward Trump, stating, “Saying things with constancy and coherence is preferable to reacting to obvious hesitations from certain players, notably our American friends.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…