There's a sizeable Kurdish community in the UK, some of whom I know quite well, through the owner of my local coffee shop, a Kurd from Turkey who was attached to our Special Forces as a liaison officer in Iraq in his younger days.
I've not been to his shop this week (closed for planned refurbishment) but I can imagine their reaction.
I just don't know what to say to him when next I see him, other than that this betrayal is truly shameful.
It's happened to them so many times -- they've been promised support for an independent Kurdistan in the mountain regions where they live so many times by Western powers in return for their military support, and then betrayed, and left to defend themselves as best they can.
The Kurds have a saying to describe the experience of the Kurdish people after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the redrawing of national boundaries after WW1 -- "No friends but God. No allies but the mountains."
What I miss in most reports about this is that this is not just another humanitarian tragedy and betrayal of allies. This will also destroy the new and astonishingly progressive social, political and economical system that is Rojava. In the autonomous kurdish regions people tried to build a secular, decentralized democratic system that allows representatives of all ethnic and religious groups, that guarantees women's rights with a quota of 40 % of women in government, where death penalty is abolished, environmental sustainability promoted and where a rather innovative mixture of private entrepreneurship and socialism was implemented. Even if I d take the enthusiastic reports of supporters with a grain of salt, it's an impressive political and social experiment that seemed to work quite well - despite the difficult circumstances in a war-ridden region. It is such a tragedy (but also not very surprising) that Erdogan most likely will burn it down.
Every US ally now fears betrayal like the Kurds Edward Lucas Trump’s erratic foreign policy means that European nations must prepare to be cast aside too Perhaps the Kurds should have named the road t...
It's not an act of sound military strategy. There's no sane military officer or expert that isn't suprised or furious about this. So it can only be an act of racist spite, a deadly piece of theatre to hype up his base, or some sort of shady deal with one of the parties involved. Or why not all three?
Very well-worth reading -- the immediate results, in terms of increased Russian influence both in Syria and Iraq and in eastern and central Europe as the US's credibility as an ally diminishes, are quite chilling, as he explains: