US 'We feel betrayed': Kurds in U.S. voice anger at Trump's troop pullback
Trump defends Syria withdrawal amid outrcry from Kurdish allies
"The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so," Trump said as Turkey prepares an assault in the region.Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considers the Kurdish forces in Syria to be terrorists allied with Kurdish insurgents within his country and has long threatened a military incursion into the area.
NASHVILLE/NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Like many Kurds living in the United States, Lava Antar has had a hard time sleeping this week, waking often to check reports of Turkish jets and artillery pounding her northeast Syria homeland. Once, she learned her former neighbor's 30-year-old son was killed.
"We feel betrayed, we feel angry," said Antar, a 26-year-old student, during at a meeting to plan a Saturday rally in New York City decrying Turkey's strikes, which sparked international criticism and fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.
Hillary Clinton calls Trump's Syria pullout a 'sickening betrayal' of allies
Hillary Clinton on Monday slammed the Trump administration's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria. © Greg Nash Hillary Clinton calls Trump's Syria pullout a 'sickening betrayal' of allies "Let us be clear: The president has sided with authoritarian leaders of Turkey and Russia over our loyal allies and America's own interests," Clinton, a former secretary of State and senator and President Trump's Democratic rival in 2016, tweeted."His decision is a sickening betrayal both of the Kurds and his oath of office.
Turkey attacked after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw U.S. troops who had been fighting alongside Kurdish forces against Islamic State militants.
"We've been helping the U.S. Like, 11,000 people died for this," she said. "Is it because I’m Kurd that I have to be killed?"
The U.S. Census Bureau has estimated there are about 21,000 people of Kurdish ancestry in America. In cities including New York, Washington, Nashville and Dallas, many are planning protests against Trump's pullback.
Kurds have long played a role in U.S. military action in the Middle East, from the first Gulf War in the early 1990s to the latest fights against Islamic State militants.
"Trump all of a sudden forgot that Kurds were fighting shoulder-and-shoulder with American soldiers," said Tabeer Sindi, 34, secretary of the Tennessee Kurdish Community Council in Nashville and an organizer of a rally scheduled for Friday outside the federal courthouse in the city, home to one of the largest U.S. concentrations of Kurdish immigrants.
Trump defends Syria move: The Kurds 'didn't help us' in Normandy
President Trump on Wednesday criticized the Kurds, saying they didn't help the United States during World War II and that they were only fighting for their land in Syria during the battle against ISIS."The Kurds are fighting for their land," Trump told reporters at the White House during an event in the Roosevelt Room."And as somebody wrote in a very, very powerful article today, they didn't help us in the second World War, they didn't"The Kurds are fighting for their land," Trump told reporters at the White House during an event in the Roosevelt Room.
"Kurds were the only main force on the ground, the only boots on the ground. We sacrificed thousands of lives."
Sindi, a married father of four boys whose family came from northern Iraq 24 years ago, said his father, Ismail, was a Peshmarga commander killed in a mustard gas attack while fighting Saddam Hussein's forces in 1988.
Even some of Trump's closest allies blasted the move, announced on Sunday. Twenty-nine of his fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives on Thursday said they would announce sanctions against Turkey over the attacks, a day after similar legislation was announced in the Senate.
'THE WHOLE WORLD HAS BEEN SILENT'
Sindi said people in Nashville's Kurdish community have been getting news from Syria through social media and media outlets but also personal contacts and family members.
"We have a lot of Trump supporters in our community, but even they are mad. They are unhappy about this decision," Sindi said, adding that he also blames Congress and other U.S. allies for allowing the attack to begin.
They Think Trump Betrayed the Kurds. Why Do They Still Support Him?
Republicans are having to defy logic to back Trump in 2020.Is it possible to believe that President Donald Trump is abandoning a vital ally to slaughter, that he is ensuring the rebirth of a genocidal terrorist group that threatens the United States, and that he ought to be the 2020 GOP nominee?
"Where are all the other countries? The whole world has been silent about this."
Silav Ibrahim, 32, who moved to the United States from a Kurdish region of northern Iraq at age four, said she had been in contact Thursday with a friend who fled from Syria to the Iraq border.
"I don't know what to say," she said in Nashville, where she recently resettled after spending six years doing humanitarian work in Kurdistan. "I do feel betrayed like every other Kurd. Every Kurd has the right to feel betrayed. I really am sad."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the purpose of the assault is to defeat the Kurdish YPG militia which has links to insurgents in Turkey.
Kurdish activists in the United States said they planned to call congressional representatives.
"I hear the senators -- Republican and Democrats -- talking about sanctions, but that that's not going to stop Erdogan," said Shyar Antar, a 24-year-old cousin of Lava Antar, from Qamishli City in northeast Syria, at the same New York meeting.
"President Trump should send back the troops to the border so that Turkey would stop the bombing. But I don't think after what has happened that Trump will go back," Antar said. "So I think right now the only hope is in Congress, try and implement a no fly zone." (Reporting by Tim Ghianni and Maria Caspani, additional reporting by Heather Timmons and Jason Lange in Washington, writing by Scott Malone; Editing by David Gregorio)
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