Commander of Syrian Kurds to US: 'You are leaving us to be slaughtered'

The commander of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces reportedly told an American diplomat on Thursday that the United States is "leaving us to be slaughtered," days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE withdrew troops from northern Syria.

CNN reported Saturday that Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi told William Roebuck, deputy special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, "You have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered."

Kobani is the head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who have been vital allies to the U.S. in the war on terror and fight against ISIS.


"You are not willing to protect the people, but you do not want another force to come and protect us," Kobani told the U.S. envoy, according to CNN, which obtained an internal readout of the meeting.

"You have sold us. This is immoral," he added.

Kobani's comments follow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's announcement Wednesday that he was launching a military offensive into Syria against the SDF, a group he views as an enemy.

Trump announced at the beginning of the week that he was removing U.S. troops from the northeastern border of Syria, ahead of Turkey's planned military incursion.

The move was met with heavy bipartisan blowback, with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Hillicon Valley: Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling | Tech legal shield makes it into trade deal | Impeachment controversy over phone records heats up | TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings MORE (R-S.C.) saying it could be the biggest mistake of Trump's presidency.

Despite Kobani's comments, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Dems unveil impeachment articles against Trump | Saudi military flight students grounded after shooting | Defense bill takes heat from progressives | Pentagon watchdog to probe use of personnel on border Pentagon inspector general to probe 'use of military personnel along the southern border' Iraq's riots threaten Iran's plan for Middle East dominance MORE insisted that the U.S. has not abandoned the SDF. 

“To be clear, we are not abandoning our Kurdish partner forces and U.S. troops remain with them in other parts of Syria,” Esper told reporters Friday at the Pentagon.

“We oppose and are greatly disappointed by Turkey’s decision to launch a unilateral military incursion into northern Syria,” Esper added.