WASHINGTON (AP) — Mr. Kurd feels betrayed.
A 12 months in the past, Kurdish journalist Rahim Rashidi stood up at a information convention and listened to President Donald Trump reward his folks. Trump professed respect for the “great” U.S. allies, even inadvertently giving Rashidi the nickname “Mr. Kurd” as he referred to as on him to ask a query. Trump vowed to guard them.
“They fought with us. They died with us,” Trump stated in a lodge ballroom in New York City, crowded with reporters. “We have not forgotten.”
None of that panned out.
Trump this week pulled again U.S. troops from northeast Syria, basically abandoning the Kurdish fighters who’ve been America’s solely allies in Syria preventing the Islamic State group.
The transfer paved the way in which for Turkey to assault the Kurdish forces it considers terrorists. On Wednesday, Ankara launched airstrikes and fired artillery into Syria, inflicting casualties.
The assault occurred “in front of his eyes,” Rashidi stated of Trump. “He did nothing.”
For a lot of Washington, the information convention in September 2018 was simply one other unusual episode of the Trump presidency — an ungainly second of cultural clumsiness for a president susceptible to them. But for Rashidi and different Kurds, it was an unforgettable pledge of safety and assurance.
Rashidi, who is predicated in Washington, didn’t bristle at being referred to as “Mr. Kurd” — he embraced it. He even put it on his enterprise card.
“If you remember, I was very happy,” Rashidi stated, describing Trump as essentially the most highly effective man on this planet.
He doesn’t know what modified within the intervening months. Republicans and Democrats in Congress, together with many nationwide protection specialists, say the transfer has positioned U.S. credibility in addition to the Kurds and regional stability at nice danger.
On Wednesday, Trump stated in a tweet that the United States shouldn’t be “fighting and policing” within the Middle East.
But his stance triggered whiplash for individuals who had discovered hope in Trump’s earlier phrases.
“Yes, please, Mr. Kurd. Go ahead,” Trump stated on the information convention final 12 months, prompting some head-scratching from those that puzzled over why the president would discuss with a reporter that approach.
Rashidi requested in regards to the United States’ relationship with the Kurds after the defeat of the Islamic State group. Trump was effusive.
“We’re trying to help them a lot,” Trump stated. He even supplied some unprompted reassurance: “We don’t forget. I don’t forget,” Trump stated. “I can tell you that I don’t forget.”