Ever since President Donald Trump made the announcement that he was removing troops from Northern Syria earlier this week, proponents of permanent military occupation of the Middle East in the GOP have been outraged. They have claimed we must stay in the region to help our allies, the Kurds.
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria is having sickening and predictable consequences,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), whose father was the architect of the disastrous Iraq War.
“The Kurds have been a great partner. … Turkey under Erdogan has not been. I’m concerned about what can happen next,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said. “A lot can happen in a hurry and we’ll just have to see what happens when we get back. I wish the president would reconsider.”
“It’s a terrible mistake. We’ll have to think of what options there are. I’m sure the Senate will, potentially, take some vote to disagree with that decision,” Sen. “Little” Marco Rubio (R-FL) said.
“This is worse than what Obama did. When Obama left Iraq, all hell broke loose. And if you think, Mr. President, ISIS is only a threat to Europe, you really don’t understand ISIS,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Thursday.
However, the facts show that the role the Kurds played in repelling ISIS has been greatly exaggerated by Washington D.C. warmongers.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) freed 83 “former” ISIS militants at the end of Ramadan in 2017. It was done as a gesture to promote Muslim solidarity between different Islamic radical factions.
Reuters reported on the startling development at the time:
A civil council expected to rule Raqqa once Islamic State is dislodged from the Syrian city pardoned 83 of the jihadist group’s low-ranking militants on Saturday, a goodwill gesture designed to promote stability.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have gained significant ground in the battle for Raqqa, the operational base for Islamic State over the past three years and a symbol of its self-proclaimed caliphate.
Senior SDF figures predict Raqqa could fall within months. That would be a severe blow to Islamic State, which has plotted shooting and bomb attacks around the world from Raqqa, a city of about 300,000 before the militants seized it.
The 83 Islamic State prisoners were transported to the headquarters of the Raqqa City Council in the village of Ain Issa, north of Raqqa, in an amnesty coinciding with the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
One by one, they stepped down from buses, the youngest 14 years old…
On the street outside the council, he told the Islamic State members, some of whom had surrendered, that they would be integrated into society and given a chance to attend schools.
Speeches were followed by applause from all sides. The men walked past council members and shook their hands, before tasting freedom and reuniting with their families.
Far from an isolated incident, the Kurdish-led SDF also allowed hundreds of ISIS fighters to escape from Raqqa along with their families later that year.
The BBC released an in-depth report about the Kurdish “dirty secret” that gave amnesty to some of the most depraved and anti-American ISIS terrorists around:
The Kurdish-led SDF cleared Raqqa of media. Islamic State’s escape from its base would not be televised.
Publicly, the SDF said that only a few dozen fighters had been able to leave, all of them locals.
But one lorry driver tells us that isn’t true.
“We took out around 4,000 people including women and children – our vehicle and their vehicles combined. When we entered Raqqa, we thought there were 200 people to collect. In my vehicle alone, I took 112 people.” …
In light of the BBC investigation, the coalition now admits the part it played in the deal. Some 250 IS fighters were allowed to leave Raqqa, with 3,500 of their family members.
“We didn’t want anyone to leave,” says Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the Western coalition against IS.
“But this goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians – they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations,” he says…
Raqqa’s freedom was bought with blood, sacrifice and compromise. The deal freed its trapped civilians and ended the fight for the city. No SDF forces would have to die storming the last IS hideout.
But IS didn’t stay put for long. Freed from Raqqa, where they were surrounded, some of the group’s most-wanted members have now spread far and wide across Syria and beyond…
The deal to free IS was about maintaining good relations between the Kurds leading the fight and the Arab communities who surround them.
President Trump’s shift in foreign policy in Northern Syria may make more sense due to the fact that the Kurds let ISIS terrorists walk free during crucial points of the war against the caliphate.
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