Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria “very soon” and to deliver the city of Manbij to Turkey fell as a shock to the Syrian Kurds gathered in the northern part of the country. These Kurds, who act on a day-to-day basis as a shield for the US forces, have been deliberately manipulated by the US establishment to cover and protect its occupation forces in the north-east of the Levant. Trump is apparently ready to dump the Kurds from one day to the next. Not content with that, Trump is now putting the Kurds “up for auction”, betting on which Arab country will occupy the Kurdish controlled area and dispose of the territory they are currently based in.
So, what are the Kurds’ options?
The US President clearly attaches no importance to the fate of the Kurds. He is ready to abandon them, despite knowing that they have no other place to go or protection they can seek. The Kurds lost the trust of the government in Damascus because of their unwise political and military choices – and of course they are hunted down by Turkey who considers all Kurds in Syria to be part of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a terrorist-affiliated group by Ankara’s standards.
The “myths” around the Kurds (“they are the best fighters against the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS), or “the Kurds are “best allies of the US”) are incorrect. This rhetoric emanates mainly from the 90s when the US used Kurdistan to secure a foothold in Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s era. In fact, the US saw in the Kurds a bridge into the Middle East enabling the establishment of a military and intelligence stronghold for themselves and their Israeli allies. With the war imposed on Syria, the US landed in the Syrian Kurdish area of al-Hasaka with the hope of dividing Mesopotamia and the Levant. Moreover, the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria have no problem in overtly stating their strong bounds to Israel despite the animosity of the respective state they live in: Iraq and Syria.
The Syrian Army and its allies fought against ISIS over the entire Syrian territory losing tens of thousands of officers and soldiers. And in Iraq, the Iraqi security forces fought against ISIS over the entire Iraqi geography where ISIS was present and lost thousands of officers and soldiers (Hashd al-Sha’bi alone lost more than 11,000 militants).
By contrast the investment and loss of Kurdish lives has been more limited. In Iraq, while fighting ISIS in the Kurdish northern area, the Kurds lost around 2000 militants. And in Syria, when the Kurds fought against ISIS, their losses of militants were in the hundreds.