Ilham Ahmen, writing a Global Opinions column published to The Washington Post and representing the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), hopes that American core values will prioritize U.S. allies over the weak whims of its president and calls upon international intervention for the ensuing Turkish invasion of northern Syria.
The SDF is comprised of persecuted minorities in the region: Kurds, Assyrians, Christians, and Yazidis.
Although the SDF was highly instrumental in suppressing the Islamic State jihadists, beginning in 2015, the United States has not always treated them as a full partner.
President Trump ordered the troop withdrawal at the northern border, leaving the families of the SDF vulnerable. They had previously destroyed their defensive fortifications on the border with Turkey because they were told that the U.S. would maintain border security.
“The American decision not only puts the lives of countless thousands at risk. It also increases the likelihood of a resurgence of the global terror threat we worked so hard together with the US and its allies to defeat.
Thousands of Islamic State fighters are in our custody. Guarding them takes huge amounts of resources. Now that we are forced to fend off a Turkish invasion, we will have no choice but to redirect our forces who are guarding the Islamic State prisoners.
Despite the betrayal we have endured, we still believe in American values and our true friends in U.S. uniform — those who stood shoulder to shoulder with our fighters and who changed widespread impressions here about the United States.
We are ready to play our part to achieve progress toward peace with Turkey, peace in Syria and a sustainable solution to the Islamic State prisoners. But it is now up to the United States and the international community to engage with us. The choice is clear: peace and stability — or conflict and chaos that will reverberate around the world.”