“Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,” United States President, Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday. His comments were a portion of his now trademark Twitter threads.
Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019Mohnish Pabrai On Value Investing, Missed Opportunities and Autobiographies
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….Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria – natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019
The comments from President Trump come days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan critiqued US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s comments from his speech in Israel. “Bolton’s remarks in Israel are not acceptable. It is not possible for me to swallow this,” Erdogan stated during a speech in front of the Turkish Parliament. “Bolton made a serious mistake. If he thinks that way, he is in a big mistake. We will not compromise.”
Who Are The Kurds?
“The Kurds are one of the indigenous peoples of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what are now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia,” a BBC profile on the Kurdish community details the population of between 25 to 35 million individuals. ”
“In mid-2013, the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) turned its sights on three Kurdish enclaves that bordered territory under its control in northern Syria. It launched repeated attacks that until mid-2014 were repelled by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD),” BBC further explains how the Kurds became the frontline fighters against ISIL (ISIS/IS).
“In August 2014, the jihadists launched a surprise offensive and the Peshmerga withdrew from several areas. A number of towns inhabited by religious minorities fell, notably Sinjar, where IS militants killed or captured thousands of Yazidis…In response, a US-led multinational coalition launched air strikes in northern Iraq and sent military advisers to help the Peshmerga. The YPG and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades and has bases in Iraq, also came to their aid,” the report continues, underlining why President Erdogan has a disdain for the Kurdish population.
An October 2017 feature by Arwa Damon of CNN details Kurdish women who took up arms to fight ISIL.
Kurdish female fighters have celebrated in Raqqa this week after the defeat of ISIS militants, whose brutal rule over the city has come to an end after almost four years. When asked what motivated them to dive into one of the fiercest battles against the terror group to date, the women said they did it both for the Kurdish cause and to liberate the women of Raqqa.
“As the YPJ we vow that will continue this path, go after terrorism where it is in our country, avenge all women victims in the world and continue the message of our martyred comrades,” the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) said in a statement after the announcement of the terrorists being defeated in Raqqa.
Anna Campbell a British woman who volunteered to fight with the YPJ was killed in March 2018 as a result of a missile strike. She was moved by what she called the “revolution of women” and wanted to be a member of the vaunted all-women military outfit.
What Will Happen To The Kurds?
If President Trump’s words come with conviction and a willingness to act, then it would not be in Turkey’s best interest to attack the Kurds. Even without any economic repercussions, the Kurds have proven themselves on the battlefield. They would not roll over against Turkish forces, which have already treated the Kurdish population as less than human.