Flag of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria

Flag of Democratic Federation of Northern Syria

Deploring the deal on Manbij

STATEMENT
By
DAVID L. PHILLIPS
Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Columbia University

Deploring the Deal on Manbij The agreement between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to withdraw Kurdish fighters from Manbij in northern Syria is a strategic blunder, which undermines the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State.

Jihadists in the Free Syrian Army, backed by Turkey, will assume free reign in Manbij. Recent experience in Afrin is illustrative. After occupying Afrin, the FSA committed atrocities including beheading Kurds, mutilating bodies, and looting property.

The Trump administration’s deal to remove the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij has been taken over objections from the U.S. Defense Department. The YPG, Syrian Kurdish fighters, served as America’s boots on-the-ground retaking Raqqa and defeating ISIS in Syria. Allowing Turkey and the FSA to occupy Manbij is tantamount to inviting extremists to control territory that the U.S. and its Kurdish partners fought to liberate from jihadis.

Abandoning the Kurds to Turkey — a state sponsor of terrorism — casts doubt on America’s commitments to other groups fighting ISIS around the world. Who will fight and die when called upon by the United States if partnerships are purely expedient?


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Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk <mailto:estella24@tiscali.co.uk>
www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Fax: 020 7263 0596


Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales;; Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Steve Sweeney, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.