Perspectives

Trump’s Syrian Policy Fosters Chaos & Supports ISIS Resurgence Expert Says


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President Donald Trump’s newly announced withdrawal of American troops from Northeastern Syria opens the door for Turkey to attack America’s Kurdish allies in the region, says Dr. Nukhet Sandal, Chair of the Political Science Department at Ohio University.

The potential of Turkey attacking an unprotected U.S. ally is dangerous at many levels, according to Dr. Sandal.

Primarily it sends a message to other U.S. allies that we will not stand behind them during times of international upheaval. We will not protect them, she says. It makes America untrustworthy in her view.

Dr. Sandal also believes that this abandonment of the Kurds invites further meddling in this region by Turkey, Iran, and Russia.

Most importantly, she notes that currently, the Kurds have about 10,000 ISIS prisoners in their custody and about 70,000 ISIS family members. The Kurds have said that if they are fighting the Turks that they will not be able to appropriately guard these prisoners and their release or escape could be imminent.

Trump has said that the U.S. and its allies have totally defeated ISIS and destroyed the caliphate.

However, Dr. Sandal says that ISIS can easily become reconstituted perhaps even under a different name and become a huge threat to the United States very quickly, given Trump’s decision to abandon the Kurds and this region of the Middle East.

Dr. Sandal has both Turkish and Kurdish heritage. She is an award-winning teacher and researcher. She received her doctorate degree from the University of Southern California and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute of International Studies at Brown University.

She is the author of numerous academic articles for prestige journals and has written two books about religion, conflict and international relations. She also has been featured by media outlets such as the BBC, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.