November 28, 2017

Has Trump Ditched the Kurdish Fighters Who Defeated ISIS? Maybe Not.

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: The Daily Beast

Journalist Wladimir Van Wilgenburg

ERBIL, Iraq—After U.S. President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, talked on the phone last Friday, Erdogan’s foreign minister announced the Americans would no longer be providing weapons to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The statement immediately led to speculation that the most effective fighters the U.S. has backed on the ground in Syria would be abandoned now that the the so-called Islamic State has been driven from Raqqa and other urban centers. The United States, after all, has a long record supporting proxies in guerrilla wars, then abandoning them once the fighting winds down, and nobody knows that better than the Kurds.

But this time, maybe the betrayal isn’t quite what it seems.

“Erdogan is always saying something on behalf of others, and the next day the same leaders deny what Erdogan said,” Ehmed Dadeli, a Kurdish military officer in Syria who works closely with the U.S.-led coalition forces, told The Daily Beast. “The U.S. states that the [largely Kurdish] Syrian Democratic Forces ‘are our partner,’ and this assists us and promotes us internationally,” he added.

Read the full article here.

  • Nicholas Heras

    Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. He is also a Senior Analyst at the Jamestown Found...