News analysis

Trump triggers widespread alarm after leaving Kurdish allies to hostile Turkish forces

Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighters head to an area near the Syrian-Turkish border north of Aleppo on Oct 8, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
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WASHINGTON - The Donald Trump administration is trying to counter a wave of concern in security and diplomatic circles, as well as both Republicans and Democrats, that the United States President, in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, essentially left Kurdish forces at the mercy of Turks.

A senior administration official told journalists that the announcement late on Sunday (Oct 6) by the White House did not constitute a full US withdrawal from Syria, and only 50 to 100 US special forces soldiers were moving to other locations from the zone in northern Syria that will be targeted by Turkish forces.

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