Susan Rice, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser in the Obama administration, joined Judy Woodruff on PBS NewsHour and discussed the Trump administration’s stance toward Syrian Kurds.
Read some parts of the interview about the Kurds bellow:
I want to ask you about what's going on in Syria. President Trump spoke to President Erdogan of Turkey, essentially agreed that U.S. troops in Northern Syria would get out of the way. Turkey saw that as a green light. They have come into Syria.
But now the Trump administration is saying, well, we are going to put sanctions on you if you go too far.
What do you make of this strategy? How do you think the Turks will respond?
Well, first of all, I'm not sure what our strategy is, Judy.
I mean, it's quite disturbing. We have sold out the Kurds, who fought on our behalf against ISIS with our support. This was a very unusual and economic arrangement that we made, where the United States' contribution was very low in terms of personnel on the ground.
We provided training and advice and support to the Kurds, who were taking the fight to ISIS, quite effectively. The president's decision to pull out those American service men and women in Northern Syria was more than a green light. It was a red carpet.
And we have seen what the Turks have done. They're waging a relentless fight, 100,000 people displaced. And now for the administration to turn around and say, but we really didn't mean it, strains credulity.
Well — and I interviewed this week Secretary of State Pompeo, who said — after previously saying the Kurds were U.S. allies, is now saying, yes, they are a threat to Turkey, they are terrorists.
That's the administration's position now.
That's — you know, think about that; 11,000 Kurds gave their lives fighting ISIS with the expectation and the promise from the United States that we would be there for them.
We have not viewed these elements of the Kurdish SDF, the Syrian Democratic Forces, known as the YPG, as people that we believed posed a terrorist threat to us or others. They were, on the contrary, fighting ISIS when the Turks wouldn't.
The Turks allowed thousands of ISIS fighters to flow through Turkey into Syria. And now to hand over the fight to the Turks and pretend they're going to take it to ISIS and secure those prisoners is — it's just not credible.
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