American troops on Monday began pulling out of positions in northeastern Syria, along the border of Turkey, ahead of an expected Turkish assault.
In a surprise announcement late Sunday, the White House said Turkey will soon be launching a military operation in Syria and that U.S. troops will no longer be “in the immediate area” when they invade:
President Trump explained his reasoning behind the abrupt policy shift in a Monday-morning Twitter thread:
🔦 This policy shift effectively gives Turkey the “all clear” to attack U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria, longtime allies who aided America in defeating ISIS in the region.
A spokesman for the Kurdish forces called the move by Washington a “stab in the back” and accused them of “leaving the areas to turn into a war zone.”