Trump blames Obama for allying with Syrian Kurds

Trump blames Obama for allying with Syrian Kurds

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump criticised his predecessor, Barack Obama yesterday for what he termed as ‘overt choice’ to partner with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terror group as Turkey begins Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.

“When Obama took the PKK, when they bring in PKK, that’s a tough deal, because that’s been a mortal enemy of Turkey,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

 “So, when you bring them in into a partnership, it’s a tough situation. It’s tough for Turkey.”

Trump announced on Sunday a pullback of US forces from their positions in northern Syria ahead of Turkey’s operation.

Syrian Kurds have been an invaluable ally to Washington in their combat against Islamic State. The Kurds have described Trump’s decision as ‘a stab in the back’.

Trump’s decision to leave Syrian Kurds at the mercy of Turkish forces received brickbats from Democrats and even his allies in the Republican party.

Turkey announced launch of Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terror elements to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.

Turkey has said the terrorist group PKK and its extension the People’s Protection Units (YPG)/Democratic Union Party (PYD), constitute the biggest threat to Syria’s future, jeopardising the country’s territorial integrity and unitary structure.

Turkey has also stressed that supporting terrorists under the pretext of fighting Daesh is unacceptable.

Turkey has a 566-mile (911-kilometer) border with Syria and it has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates and the formation of a “terrorist corridor” there.

Turkey plans to resettle two million Syrians in a 19-milie (30-kilometer) wide safe zone to be set up in Syria, stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij. However, the presence of groups such as the PKK, PYD, and YPG risk its formation.

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Barack ObamaDonald TrumpSyrian KurdsTurkey