The betrayal of America’s Kurdish allies has begun:
Turkey’s government launched a long-expected offensive into northeastern Syria on Wednesday, with airstrikes and shelling targeting Syrian Kurdish fighters who have played a central role in aiding the U.S.-led battle against the Islamic State militant group.
The operation — with some ground forces crossing the border later — came just days after President Trump’s startling announcement that the United States would not stand in Turkey’s way, bringing sharp rebukes from even the president’s Republican allies.
The Turkish foray threatened to further fracture a war-shattered Syria as Ankara moved to create a “safe zone” after failing to agree on its size and nature during negotiations with the United States.
Turkey’s goal is to push back the Syrian Kurds — considered enemies by Turkey — from the border region. Turkey also claims the buffer region would be fit for the resettlement of millions of Syrian refugees residing in Turkey.
But aid agencies warned the offensive could create a new humanitarian crisis, as well as a fresh wave of displaced people and refugees.
It should be noted, given the inevitable “Donald the Dove” narratives that are coming, that this is not the result of a general withdrawal of troops from Syria. Trump is just getting the relevant fraction of American troops out of the way so his buddy can do some ethnic cleansing, despite the promises made to the Kurds when they fought ISIS on behalf of the U.S.
Trump did not indicate he was having any second thoughts late Wednesday, however, telling reporters: “We are getting out of the endless wars. We have to do it.” He also responded to criticism by chiding the Kurds, telling reporters Wednesday afternoon that “they didn’t help us in the second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy as an example.”