On Dec. 19, just three weeks ago, United States President Donald Trump made public that the government would be withdrawing active-duty military members from both Afghanistan and Syria immediately. Criticism flew from all sides of the political spectrum. Soon-to-be-resigned Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced shortly after the Dec. 19 Twitter announcement from Trump that he would resign from his position in February 2019 due to differences he shared with Trump on the matter.
Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a U.S.-based government program with a name that explains its mission, also retired from his position after Trump shared his judgment.
Today, Jan. 6, 2018, Trump Cabinet member John Bolton announced that the removal of troops from the Middle East had not taken place yet and that the decision would be postponed in the interim. Bolton, National Security Advisor, is slated to communicate to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, that hundreds of United States troops would hold position at a Syrian base to ward off any aggressive actions taken by Iranian forces.
President Donald Trump also spoke publicly today, reiterating a message from John Bolton that U.S. armed forces needed to take down ISIS, which is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
One of the United States’ allies in the current war against ISIS is the Syrian Kurds, an ethnic group largely of Iranian origin. The Syrian Kurds is not an official name of an army, militia, government, or another group; rather, they are all of the same ethnicity and live almost solely in Syrian’s northeastern portion.
Syrian Kurds are very much down for the United States’ cause of staying in the war against ISIS. After all, the Kurds have imminent fear of a military attack from Turkey once the United States rolls out of their vicinity.
The Kurds are considered by Turkey to be part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which both Turkey and the United States looks at as a terrorist group. Syrian Kurds officially name themselves the YPG and do not self-associate with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
Bolton also stated that he has reached out to leaders of the Syrian Kurds and expressed concerns that the group should not side with Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, or Russia, as such a relationship would terminate support from the U.S.