On Sunday, October 6th, the White House issued a statement that read: “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation..."
The statement continued: "Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial ‘Caliphate’ by the United States.”
This decision raised immediate questions about the fate of Kurdish fighters in the region.
The Kurds have been highly effective American allies in the fight against ISIS in Syria. However, Turkey considers the Kurds to be a terrorist group, and views them as a border threat.
On October 7th, President Trump clarified his view on the matter, tweeting: "As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families..."
Food For Thought
What's the best path forward in Syria? When, if at all, would it make sense to bring troops home?