The New York Times reports Dec. 19 that President Trump has ordered a “rapid withdrawal of all 2,000 United States ground troops from Syria within 30 days”. Trump tweeted the announcement: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency”. Hardly coincidentally, this comes just as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Pentagon’s main partner on the ground, are on the brink of capturing the last town in Syria still under ISIS — Hajin, on the banks of the Euphrates River in eastern Deir Ezzor governorate. The Independent reports that SDF fighters have now entered the town after a three-month siege. Also not coincidentally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just days earlier warned of an imminent offensive against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Kurdish militia that makes up the core of the SDF. Erdogan said Dec. 12 that Turkey will launch an operation against the YPG “in a few days”, adding that it is “time to realize our decision to wipe out terror groups east of the Euphrates”. The Euphrates River has until now served as a border between Turkey’s “buffer zone” in northern Syria and areas still under Kurdish control. Turkey is now preparing to cross it — with evident US connivance.
Bill Weinberg in Trump’s Syria withdrawal: bad news for Kurds (Countervortex)