A Senate Bill will hopefully protect the Kurds. I foresaw this need, and have fought for it. I have been called mad. People wanted me locked up. Vital news about my family has been used to hurt me.
U.S. Republican Senator John Kennedy introduced an amendment to a bill which will allow for the use of armed forces to protect Syria’s Kurds as Washington prepares to withdraw from the war-torn country.
Titled the ‘’Authorization for Use of Force to Defend the Kurds in Syria Resolution,’ ’ the amendment to the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, S. 1 ., the amendment published on the senator’s official website looks to ensure the safety of Syrian Kurds who are ‘’potentially vulnerable to an attack by Syrian government forces, rebel forces and other external threats.’’
The U.S. senator’s move arrives as a decision by Washington to pull troops from war-torn Syria leaves Kurdish militia, which have formed the backbone of Washington’s war on the Islamic State (ISIS), without backing in the region.
“There must always be a moral component to America’s foreign policy, and it’s our moral responsibility to be loyal to our allies,” Kennedy said. “The Syrian Kurds were indispensable in our fight against ISIS in Syria, and we shouldn’t leave them high and dry. This amendment will ensure the protection of our Kurdish allies and demonstrate our appreciation for their help in the war against ISIS.”
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is a coalition made up of mostly Kurdish militias that has led the fight against ISIS in Syria. The SDF is largely responsible for retaking more than 95 percent of ISIS’ claimed territory in Iraq and Syria, and forcing ISIS to give up its last major urban stronghold in the region, the statement noted.
Turkey designates the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which forms the backbone of the SDF, a terrorist organisation.
Ankara was alarmed by the group’s consolidation of territory in northern Syria during the campaign against the Islamic State, and has launched military operations into areas governed by the YPG and its affiliates without a U.S. presence.
The last remaining Islamic State fighters surrounded by western-backed forces in eastern Syria have offered to surrender in return for safe passage, according to Kurdish spokesmen.
Mustafa Bali, of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said the offer had been made through smugglers and those who had escaped from the last few remaining square miles of Isis-held territory.
The Isis fighters were hoping to be ferried either to Turkey or to Idlib, the rebel-held province in the northwest of Syria, with their wives and children as human shields.
The offer was rejected. The “operation will go on until the last terrorist is dead”, Mr Bali said.
It was unclear why, assuming the offer was genuine, the Isis fighters thought they would be granted a haven in…
More than a month after President Trump announced that U.S. forces were leaving Syria, there has been no sign of troop departures or a change in the relationship between Americans and their Syrian Kurdish allies, according to the leadership of the political umbrella organization of the Kurdish fighters.
“There has been no change in the situation on the ground,” said Ilham Ahmed, who heads the executive committee of the Syrian Democratic Council. The situation is “just like before” Trump’s announcement, she said.
Trump administration and defense officials have provided little information on how the departure is being organized, or on what timeline. Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan said Tuesday that the military continued a “deliberate, coordinated, disciplined withdrawal” from Syria but that the process remained in the “early stages.”
BEIRUT — The United States is seeking to broker an agreement between Syrian Kurdish forces and Turkey to prevent them from going to war in northeastern Syria once American forces withdraw, a senior Kurdish official said.
Ilham Ahmed, the co-chair of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Council, said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press that it remains to be seen whether U.S. efforts would be successful.
Ahmed has been in Washington for the last few days to lobby for a negotiated U.S. withdrawal that would secure the presence of Kurdish-led forces in areas of northern Syria that they liberated, with U.S. military support, from Islamic State militants. The oil- and resource-rich areas constitute 30 percent of Syria.
Plans for the U.S. to pull out created a vacuum that all sides are seeking to fill.
Later Monday, Ahmed exchanged a few words with U.S. President Donald Trump at a fundraiser in Washington — the first such high-level encounter for a Syrian Kurdish official.
When asked if he would let the Kurdish fighters be attacked, Trump said he would make sure they are protected, adding “I love the Kurds,” according to a person in the room who asked not to be identified.
Ahmed had no immediate comment on the encounter. The White House said it has no comment on private conversations.
Ahmed said the U.S. is focusing on “calming” Turkey to find a compromise that would allow the Kurdish forces to remain. She has rejected a Turkish proposal for a “safe zone,” saying Ankara’s control of a 20-mile (32-kilometer) border area would endanger the Kurds.
“Turkey’s control would mean turning these areas into Turkish colonies controlled by terrorist groups,” she said in reference to Turkish-backed Syrian opposition groups.
Turkey says it wants to turn the border area into a place where millions of refugees can return. But Ahmed said a Kurdish-dominated area seized by Turkey and its Syrian allies last year in western Syria, Afrin, has been systematically emptied of its original inhabitants.
Ahmed said a compromise accepted by her group would be having U.N.-sanctioned international monitors along the border between Syria and Turkey.