U.S. Military withdraws from Syria, prompting Turks to invade

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U.S. Department of Defense

Kurdish refugees travel to U.S. military encampments.

President Donald Trump announced Oct. 6 that the U.S. military would withdraw from northern Syria, prompting the Turkish military to begin an incursion into northern Syria. 

The Turkish Air Force began airstrikes Oct. 9 against U.S.-backed rebels known as the Kurds, an ethnic group clustered around northern Syria and Iraq, southern Turkey, and western Iran. The U.S. military has long provided Kurdish militia with military support and aid in order for them to combat ISIS. 

American permission for Turkey to attack the Kurds, and the implicit withdrawal of U.S. support for the Kurds, promises to have wide-reaching effects on conflict in Syria and U.S. foreign policy.

Social Studies Teacher Chris Wolf believes that the Turkish military operation will harm people in the region. “Any continued warfare will be negative for economic factors. Displacing more people and bombing communities is always going to be problematic,” he said.

By abandoning a key military ally, the U.S. risks its international credibility when it comes to protecting allies and honoring its agreements. This will be likely obstacle in future U.S. military pacts, with prospective military partners concerned about the U.S. maintaining its agreements.

Wolf is concerned about the impact that U.S. silence on the issue will have on its foreign policy. “I think it really brings to question what it means to be an ally of the United States in the international scene.”