October 20, 2019
The Kurds might be abandoned, but the US has not given up its glorious goal of making every country on earth a democracy.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under current plans all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence.
Esper, who arrived in the Afghan capital on Sunday, did not rule out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. But he told reporters traveling with him that those details will be worked out over time.
His comments were the first to specifically lay out where American troops will go as they leave Syria and what the counter-IS fight could look like. Esper, who flew overnight to Afghanistan, said he has spoken to his Iraqi counterpart about the plan to shift the more than 700 troops leaving Syria into western Iraq.
The developments made clear that one of President Donald Trump’s rationales for withdrawing troops from Syria was not going to come to pass any time soon. “It’s time to bring our soldiers back home,” Trump said Wednesday. But they are not coming home.
As Esper left Washington on Saturday, U.S. troops were continuing to pull out of northern Syria after Turkey’s invasion into the border region. Reports of sporadic clashes continued between Turkish-backed fighters and the U.S.-allied Syria Kurdish forces despite a five-day cease-fire agreement hammered out Friday between U.S. and Turkish leaders.
Turkey’s defense ministry says one soldier has been killed amid sporadic clashes with Kurdish fighters.
Trump ordered the bulk of the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria to withdraw after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear in a phone call that his forces were about to invade Syria to push back Kurdish forces that Turkey considers terrorists.
The pullout largely abandons America’s Kurdish allies who have fought IS alongside U.S. troops for several years. Between 200 and 300 U.S. troops will remain at the southern Syrian outpost of Al-Tanf.
I figured they’d be moved to Saudi Arabia, but Iraq is good too.
Just as long as they remain in the region in order to protect the most important democracy on earth: Saudi Arabia.
The great democracy of Saudi Arabia is currently under direct and aggressive threat from starving Yemeni children, who are threatening to rush their border, a situation the US Secretary of State has likened to Gremlins 2: The New Batch.