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NATO can save the Kurds and make Turkey happy

21 3 0

WASHINGTON – Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does geopolitics. So it was predictable that, following the snap decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull American forces out of Syria, the void in the north of the country was immediately filled by Russian troops supporting the regime of the war criminal Bashar Assad.

The humanitarian costs of the Turkish invasion are rising rapidly, with hundreds of Kurds dead and nearly 300,000 civilians — including 70,000 children — on the move. The chaos is allowing Islamic State fighters to escape jail, joining the thousands in hiding around the Syria-Iran border and looking for an opportunity to regroup. America’s former Kurdish allies have been forced to turn to the hated regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad for their very survival.

By essentially abandoning the fighters who did the most to defeat Islamic State, the Trump administration has deeply damaged the global prestige and trust of the United States as an ally. Congress has done better, with the House voting overwhelmingly to condemn the administration’s decision, but a token resolution is of little help to the millions of displaced in Syria as winter sets in.

Turkey, a NATO ally, is on the receiving end of escalating political ire and economic punishment. The only “winners” appear to be the Syrian regime, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, Islamic State, and Iran and its proxies — in other words, all of America’s adversaries in the region.

What can be done to turn the situation around? How can the........

© The Japan Times