Trumps decision to make way for Turkey in Syria seen by critics as a Kurds betrayal

FILE 2018: President Donald Trump, left, talks with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as they arrive together for a family photo at a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

President Trump faced swift criticism early Monday after the White House announced its decision to move U.S. troops from northern Syria and give way for Turkey’s planned military incursion in the region.

Kurdish forces bore the brunt of the ground campaign against Islamic State militants but are considered terrorists by the Turkish government.

In December, Trump announced he was withdrawing American troops from Syria but was met with widespread condemnation for abandoning Kurdish allies to the Turkish assault.

The announcement prompted the resignation in protest of then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and a coordinated campaign by then-national security adviser John Bolton to try to protect the Kurds.

As recently as January, Trump warned Ankara not to target the group, saying the U.S. would “devastate” Turkey economically if “they hurt the Kurds.”

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