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Why President Trumps Policy in the Autonomous Region of North and East Syria is Flawed

Updated: Apr 10

Op-ed Written by Christopher Dowd

Photography by Christopher Dowd

President Trump may tell you ISIS is dead but this journalist can tell you this is far from the truth. The Syrian Democratic Forces are still fighting sleeper cells and al-Hol camp is becoming just like Camp Bucca where Baghdadi and ex-Ba'athist formed ISIS as suspected ISIS terrorist are held there with no other place to put them, and no International Court to give them a fair trial which was the wish of the Autonomous Administration. Just last week I saw someone openly wearing an ISIS patch in Mosul Iraq. This while Iranian militias now have a perfect pipeline to send weapons through Iraq, Southern Syrian and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. We handed over control of the Middle East to Russia and Iran and we did it for nothing, we did not even try to call for negotiations to protect our allies in Syria, the allies that are the reason Europe and America have not continued to be attacked by those who follow the ideology of the Islamic State. We could have let the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria negotiate from a position of power yet instead we abandoned them so they had no choice but to ask for help from Russia and the Assad Regime, and again we gave it up for absolutely nothing.es died fighting for, is at risk as Turkey tries to push back Kurdish people from the border, and clear Kurdish Cities to replace them with refugees from other parts of Syria. The same thing the Assad family dictatorship did under the Arab Belt Project which places Arab Families in Kurdish areas to change the ethnic make up of these areas while they banned the Kurdish Language. This of course is illegal under International Law and it was President Trumps decision to allow this to happen by pulling back soldiers from cities like Kobanî to green light a Turkish attack on what is considered "the most successful fighting force against ISIS". Now the soldiers whose mere presence protected the civilians, in a low impact and highly successful mission, are instead sitting in Oil Fields protecting a commodity over human lives.

Our Special Forces who called in airstrikes for the Syrian Democratic Forces was the most successful mission in the Middle East that the United States was part of. Now Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Christians and Muslims alike are fleeing in mass and according to sources over four hundred thousand people have been displaced from these cities that I could peacefully walk through just a year ago. NGO's have been forced to flee and a humanitarian crisis is on the brink of becoming a full on disaster under the watch of our President who ignored every military and Middle Eastern expert when he made this decision, likely because as he said "He knows more than the Generals" and the people on the ground. Thousands more have died since this decision and the M-4, one of North-East Syria's most important and frequently travelled road is now bombed constantly, often in area where no military targets exist. Local NGO workers risk their lives trying to go to work as Turkish warplanes and drones bomb the M-4, when anyone who knows anything about the capabilities of the Syrian Democratic Forces can say in all honesty that they present no threat to Turkey, given they have AK-47's and Turkey has ballistic missiles, F-16's, and plenty of tanks. When we promised them that if they moved back from the border we would prevent any attack we lied to an ally that fought ISIS and saved American lives, since eventually with all the ISIS directed and inspired attacks in the West it would have been American's fighting the Islamic State, and American Military member dying, unless President Trump was going to allow attacks such as those in California and Florida to continue.

President Trump may tell you ISIS is dead but this journalist can tell you this is far from the truth. The Syrian Democratic Forces are still fighting sleeper cells and al-Hol camp is becoming just like Camp Bucca where Baghdadi and ex-Ba'athist formed ISIS as suspected ISIS terrorist are held there with no other place to put them, and no International Court to give them a fair trial which was the wish of the Autonomous Administration. Just last week I saw someone openly wearing an ISIS patch in Mosul Iraq. This while Iranian militias now have a perfect pipeline to send weapons through Iraq, Southern Syrian and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. We handed over control of the Middle East to Russia and Iran and we did it for nothing, we did not even try to call for negotiations to protect our allies in Syria, the allies that are the reason Europe and America have not continued to be attacked by those who follow the ideology of the Islamic State. We could have let the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria negotiate from a position of power yet instead we abandoned them so they had no choice but to ask for help from Russia and the Assad Regime, and again we gave it up for absolutley nothing.

Our allies in Europe are concerned about our commitment to them so imagine how our allies in the Middle East feel. Given the fact Turkey need the U.S. more than we need them at this point it is nonsensical that we would give in to them after they bought the Russian Missile Defense System that puts NATO's own security at risk. Graffiti in Sinjar City, Iraq, said it all, it read "I thought the U.S. Strong, why did you you leave us alone". Trump's policies in the Middle East not only made the United States appear weak but also unreliable, and if we are seen as unreliable then how will anyone trust the United States as an ally, and how will we be trust among the local forces that put their lives on the line to fight terrorism every day. When President Trump was running for election he said he didn't need to know about all of this because he would surround himself with experts. While there is no point to surround yourself with experts if you are not going to listen to them, and he did not, and now innocent people are dying in what was a peaceful Democracy up until October last year, when we had them take down their defensive positions just to pull out and make it easier for Turkey to attack. Turkey has a long history of abusing those in the Kurdish Region of Turkey, they even took away their name and refer to them as "Mountain Turks" and they have arrested Mayors of so many Kurdish cities in Turkey that when you look it up a large proportion of Kurdish Cities say "Mayor by Appointment", and thats not to mention the Members of the Parliament of Turkey who are Kurdish that have been arrested, along with journalist and civil rights activist, none of which ever attacked the Turkish State. Yet we paved the way for Turkey to attack Kurdish cities that posed no threat to Turkey in Syria when we could have prevented it without any American combat deaths, and I say combat deaths because soldiers can die in training accidents but that can happen whether they are in Syria or the United States. Unless this policy is reversed we will have been set back years in the Middle East and terrorist organizations will become more emboldened. Unfortunately it seems that there is no way this will happen so long as President Trump is President and in four more years it might be too late to prevent yet another war.


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