The news of US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from wartorn Syria has reverberated down through the halls of Christiansborg in Denmark.
The prospect of the US opening the path for Turkey to mount an assault on Kurdish positions in northern Syria has sent several members of the Foreign Policy Committee scampering to urge the foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, to react.
MPs from Venstre, Socialistisk Folkeparti, Enhedslisten and Alternativet have all called for an emergency session in the Foreign Policy Committee tomorrow to address the issue.
“It looks like the Kurds, who have been our friends and allies in the battle against Islamic State [IS], are now being abandoned by Donald Trump. I think that’s extremely worrying, if that means president Erdogan of Turkey now begins to massacre our Kurdish allies,” Michael Aastrup Jensen, Venstre’s spokesperson on foreign affairs issues, told DR Nyheder.
Others contend that move threatens the IS prisoner situation, with Enhedslisten fearing that leaving them to Turkey could ultimately lead to their untimely release.
The many concerns were supported by the chair of the Foreign Policy Committee, Martin Lidegaard, who said it was important to gather support against Trump’s decision.
“Very shocking message from Trump: The US leaving northern Syria to Turkey, apparently without allied consensus – A massive let down of the Kurds with incalculable consequences for an endgame in Syria and in regards to the handling of captured Syria fighters,” Lidegaard wrote on Twitter.
Blood Kurdling stuff
Since last August, the US and Turkey agreed to patrol the area between the Turkish and north Syrian border. Turkey has been looking to resettle non-Kurdish Syrian refugees in the area as well as set military outposts farther from the border and into Syria, both of which have been opposed by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
SDF expressed concern about Turkey’s invasion, arguing that the US does not “fulfill its obligations” by withdrawing as the Turks purpose. While the US considers the SDF as an ally, Turkey regards the group as a terrorist group with close ties to the banned Kurdish party PKK.
Following the backlash to his withdrawal plans, Trump tweeted that “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”