Army officer calls Syria pullback 'a stain on the American conscience'

Special Forces officers who served with Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria expressed remorse to the New York Times over the announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from the region, with one calling it "a stain on the American conscience." 

“They trusted us and we broke that trust,” an Army officer who has worked alongside Kurdish forces told the Times on condition of anonymity. “It’s a stain on the American conscience.”


Shervan Darwish, an official allied with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, expressed similar sentiments, telling the newspaper, “The worst thing in military logic and comrades in the trench is betrayal.”

Other members of the U.S. military have made similar comments. “I am ashamed for the first time in my career,” a U.S. Special Forces soldier told Fox News Thursday after Turkish forces advanced across the border into the northeast.

“Turkey is not doing what it agreed to. It’s horrible,” the soldier said. “We met every single security agreement. The Kurds met every single agreement [with the Turks]. There was no threat to the Turks — none — from this side of the border.”

Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Stopgap spending measure awaits Senate vote | Trump nominates former Nunes aide for intelligence community watchdog | Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to contractors, military Overnight Defense: Pentagon redirects pandemic funding to defense contractors | US planning for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May | Anti-Trump GOP group puts ads in military papers Official: Pentagon has started 'prudent planning' for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May MORE on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE had ordered the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops to be pulled from northeastern Syria following the Turkish advance into the nation. The Trump administration has said further Turkish aggression will be met with sanctions but has not supplied any further details or a timeline.

Trump's initial announcement last week that the U.S. would pull forces out of the region drew swift condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike, with close ally Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot MORE (R-S.C.) unveiling a plan for sanctions against Turkey in the case of an attack on the Kurds.