No Way to Sugarcoat It: Trump Is Abandoning our Kurdish Allies

By Jalil Dawood, Executive Director of World Refugee Care

President Trump’s recent withdrawal of troops from Syria is creating a grave situation for our key allies in the Middle East—as well as unnecessarily putting innocent lives at risk.

Now I’ll be the first to proclaim that America is not the world police, and we certainly shouldn’t be in a war zone like Afghanistan or Syria endlessly. These unending conflicts incur a great cost to America. And as a refugee to this great country myself, I hate to see that.

However, there are simply some things America must fight for—even if they don’t pose a direct and immediate threat to our national borders. And there are three critical reasons we must fight for this.

First, there’s a wildcard in this whole debate that many people are overlooking: Russia. Keeping Turkey out of Kurdish Syria maintains a balance of Russian power in the region. The Kurds have been longstanding American allies—and are an ever-present threat to Moscow’s power grab in the region.

Secondly, while leaving the buffer zone today is the easy route, there’s a strong chance it will cost us much more down the road. Look at Iraq in 1993. George H.W. Bush didn’t maintain a military presence alongside the Kurds in their attempted overthrow of Saddam Hussein. And what happened? Hussein fought back the Kurds and amassed even more power—an issue we were faced with when we invaded in 2003, which cost many more American lives.

And third, the President simply can’t sit by and allow another humanitarian crisis to erupt on his watch. The withdrawal of American forces from the Turkey-Syria buffer zone leaves the minority Kurdish and Christian populations in the region extremely vulnerable.

That means we’ll inevitably have more refugees added to an already overwhelming crisis in the Middle East as Turkey’s increasingly anti-Christian influence is spread into new territories.

The Kurds are our allies. And there’s no way to sugarcoat it: President Trump is abandoning them.

And while warnings from the President that Turkey must not abuse their power have been issued, his actions tell a different story. And as we all know, actions speak louder than words.

This withdrawal is poised to create a catastrophic geopolitical and humanitarian crisis. Not only that, but America could very well lose a close and valuable ally for peace in the region.

My hope and prayer is that our President thinks about the ramifications of his actions and strongly reconsiders. Because there are some stands that are worth taking—and some things America must fight for.

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