Last week President Trump publicly stated that the US military is pulling out of Northern Syria in areas close to the Turkish border. In Washington DC there has been universal condemnation about this decision. The geo-political reason? The Kurds have been with us to defeat ISIS/The Islamic State why should we leave them and desert them now? The human rights reason? If the US military pulls out of this area vulnerable religious and cultural minorities will be left without protection from the potential Turkish Army incursion who shoot first and ask questions later.
Christians Yazidis Iraqi and Syrian refugees Arab Muslim refugee (non-Kurds) families widows and orphans from other areas destroyed by the Assad Syrian regime are located here and the only reason the Turkish forces have not fired upon these areas is some argue the presence of the American military.
The question to ask is: should the USA remain there in order to reinforce the loyalty of the Kurds (specifically the SDF-Syrian Democratic Forces) and to protect the minorities and refugees there who have no army and no protection other than the SDF?
The pro-pull-out side argues that like many other skirmishes and wars in the Middle East this is a no-win war situation that will never be won and will never be over. This is Trumps reasoning. Some will resonate with this ideology and will ask the question: What war that the USA has been involved with in recent history has been won with Americas help?
Currently there are wars raging in several Middle Eastern countries and regions which give credence and credibility to Trump decision. And in these other areas there are minorities who are at risk: Yemen-the conflict between the Saudis the Iranian-backed Houthis; the war in Libya after Khadafis demise; the internal war between Assad and the Syrian rebels; Iraq with the ongoing dispute between the Iraqi Sunnis and the Iranian Shiites; Afghanistan and the decades-long conflict between the Taliban ISIS al-Qaeda and the Afghan government with the mix of US Forces UN Forces and Coalition forces.
Afghanistan is Americas longest war-now 18 years in the making. It is not for good reason that the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has an on-line website entitled The Long War Journal https://www.longwarjournal.org The entire Middle East is a roiling boiling catastrophic mess that the US has been involved in since 1801. Have a nice day! Most forget that the US has been involved in the Middle conflicts going back to 1802 when then-President Thomas Jefferson sent over American frigates and schooners under the leadership of Naval Officer William Eaton and fought that war along with the help of Sweden from 1801 to 1805.
Yes its been a long war after all. You mix into the geopolitical stew that Turkey is a NATO ally and regards several aspects of the Kurds as Marxists Leninists and Communists-these would be the PKK or the Kurdistan Workers Party who the USA has also designated a terrorist organization by the US government-as does Turkey. Erdogan Turkeys president links all the other Kurd political organizations and militias to the PKK stating that they are all in collusion to overthrow Turkey in order to establish a Kurd nation. Kurds remember the Turkish attempt one hundred years ago when the Ottoman Empire was working to wipeout Kurds Assyrians Armenians Christians and Jews. NATOs Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently stated on 9 October 2019 in defense of Turkeys defense of their borders Our ally Turkey is at the forefront of the crisis and has legitimate security concerns. It has suffered horrendous terrorist attacks" as the result of the Kurds. He was referring to the current border crisis in Northern Syria. https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_169485.htm
However you mix into this the protection of Yazidis and Christians and what should we do? The argument to be made against Trumps recent decision is that there are innocent and vulnerable populations tens of thousands of men women and children that live in Northern Syria-and it appears from very recent history that the presence of American troops have protected these vulnerable civilian populations from death and destruction.
Why not allow a small number of US Special Forces to remain in the region in order to be utilized as a buffer between Turkey and the Kurds. If Turkey has their way in the event of the US withdrawal there is no question Turkish troops will roll into Kobani and other cities in the Rojava and Raqqa Governates. ISIS invaded this region and briefly held it on 13 September 2014-300000 Kurdish citizens fled to the Turkish side of the border and remain there to this day. The Kurds in the form of the YPG helped to liberate Kobani from ISIS along with US Forces. Whats the US to do? At this point keep the US troops there in order to prevent total death and destruction of the innocent peoples there-the Christians the Yazidis the women and the children who have already suffered much.