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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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 EsperTrump holds chummy meeting with Turkey's Erdoğan Overnight Defense: Pentagon says Syrian oil revenue going to Kurdish forces | GOP chair accuses Dems of using Space Force as leverage in wall fight | Dems drop plans to seek Bolton testimony Pentagon: Revenue from Syria oil fields going to Kurdish-led forces MORE on Sunday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 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 GrahamGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.C.) unveiling a plan for sanctions against Turkey in the case of an attack on the Kurds.