National Security Council Source: Trump ‘Has No Spine’ in Confronting Turkey
A National Security Council source with direct knowledge of the phone call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria left his Defense Department “completely stunned,” according to Newsweek.
Trump announced that he would withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria after President Erdogan issued his strongest threat to launch a military incursion in order to oust the regime in Syria. The source believes that a Turkish incursion is imminent within the next 24 to 96 hours.
The Kurdish militia in Syria has been historically supported militarily and financially by the United States to aid them in their fight against ISIS, the Islamic State militant group, yet Turkey has long considered the Kurds to be a terrorist insurgency.
As a part of Trump’s “America First policy”, the United States has chosen not to stand its ground to protect Kurdish Forces against Turkish airstrikes.
A senior Defense Department official said about 90 percent of American forces have withdrawn from northern Syria. Sudden withdrawal could lead to the loss of a valuable regional position to American military forces and may allow Russia and Iran to re-establish a full military presence in the Mediterranean.
“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something--but we are not getting something,” the National Security Council source said. “The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line.”