, but soldiers in neighboring Syria will receive no such visit during the short time they have left in the country. On Dec. 19, soon. Kurds in the Middle East and the diaspora were enraged over the decision, arguing it leaves Syrian Kurdish soldiers, who fought IS, alone against Turkey. control, which dominates the SDF.
Trump’s decision should not have come as a shock, though. Unlike his Republican predecessors, Trump is opposed to US wars in the Middle East, and his decision constitutes a return to the non-interventionist positions that won him support from his base in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump may seem like an unlikely man to withdraw from Syria, where American ground forces have been since 2015. , which severely damaged the city. Unlike Barack Obama before him, in 2017 and 2018.
However, campaign trail Trump was a relatively anti-war candidate. At the addressing fellow candidate and former president George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb Bush, directly.
He didn’t stop there. Facing the embarrassed, younger Bush on stage, Trump said: “We spent two trillion dollars, thousands of lives, we don’t even have it. Iran is taking over Iraq.”
Trump concluded by saying “we should’ve never been in Iraq. We destabilized the Middle East.”
This does not sound like a man who would have stayed in Syria indefinitely, as some of Trump’s advisers .
Trump is now being criticized for . However, Trump’s election year comments show that he vowed to let other countries fight IS. During an Oct. 9, 2016, , Trump suggested the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and Russia should be left alone to fight IS.
“I don’t like Assad, but Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS,” he said.
, he said the US should only be in Syria to fight IS. He also said the US should not act to help the city of Aleppo, which was at the time facing a humanitarian crisis as Moscow and Damascus fought rebel groups for control there.
Of course, Trump did end up bombing the Syrian military in response to its alleged chemical attacks on rebel areas, but the strikes were limited.
These debate comments, on the other hand, demonstrate that Trump’s intentions for Syria have always been solely to fight IS. His remarks on Aleppo indicate he is not overly concerned with humanitarian issues, like the ones Kurds in northeast Syria may face if Turkey invades. Trump told the American people that their government could not help Aleppo. Why would he now feel differently about Qamishli or Kobani?
There are domestic political considerations that compelled Trump to leave Syria, and these weigh more heavily than his past There have long been anti-war factions in the Republican Party. Former Texas congressman Ron Paul ran for president on an explicitly non-interventionist and libertarian platform in 2008 and 2012. Paleoconservatives are totally against foreign wars. Such opinions reemerged on the right after the 2003 Iraq war, and Trump tapped into these sentiments. Paul’s son, libertarian-minded Senator .
Now they are mad because he is STOPPING two wars. How about you just admit you hate the President, love war and have been wrong for the last 20 years on every part of foreign policy?— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2018
Consider that my Christmas present. You don’t have to get me anything else.
The libertarian website reason which often criticizes Trump, likewise, ran an in support of the move. And Jhis backing.
Trump the peacemaker is a one-man antiwar movement: out of Afghanistan, out of Syria - in a matter of days!— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) December 26, 2018
Other anti-war people on the right supported Trump’s past anti-intervention comments, too. Members of the new right, a group thatopposes immigration, political correctness, and social justice, also overwhelmingly supported Trump’s candidacy in part due to his fairlyanti-war stances. This camp was . However, after the Syria pullout news, many of them, like the notorious conspiracy theory outlet again.
BREAKING: Plans underway for full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. There are currently about 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) December 19, 2018
Right decision. Syrian intervention was an Obama/Hillary/Neo-con effort to support jihadists & topple a secular leader.
Trump likes to be seen as a man who keeps his promises. He regularly tweets about his commitment to building a wall along the US-Mexico border. Many US presidential candidates have promised to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but Trump actually did it. This compelled him to finally get the US out of Syria, and the anti-war right is an important part of his base.
IS has lost nearly all of its territory in Syria and Iraq, but still has a strong presence in both countries. For Trump, however, the group is defeated enough for him to declare victory. Unfortunately for Syrian Kurdistan, Trump’s desire to get the US out of the country is more important to him than whatever might happen there in his military’s absence.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Kurdistan 24.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany