World: Intel officials say ISIS could regroup after U.S. 'betrayal' of Kurds in Syria - - PressFrom - US
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World Intel officials say ISIS could regroup after U.S. 'betrayal' of Kurds in Syria

15:51  10 october  2019
15:51  10 october  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Hillary Clinton calls Trump's Syria pullout a 'sickening betrayal' of allies

  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.

Officials ask what will happen to the 12,000 ISIS fighters being guarded by the Kurds . The report said that ISIS had lost its grip on territory in Syria and Iraq but had "morphed into an Current and former officials also expressed frustration over what they see as a profound betrayal of the Kurdish

Analysts said the redeployment would betray America’ s Syrian Kurdish allies, decrease American leverage in Syria and open a void that could A decline in American support could leave them vulnerable to attacks by ISIS or by others who resent their rise. They have few other international

WASHINGTON — A sustained Turkish military operation against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria — which President Donald Trump appears to have permitted — would vastly increase the threat to Americans from ISIS, which remains intent on attacking the West, current and former intelligence officials tell NBC News.

a person walking down a street next to tall buildings: Image: ISIS member© Reuters file Image: ISIS member

The immediate concern, officials say, is what will happen with the 12,000 ISIS fighters currently being guarded by the American-backed Kurds. The ISIS prisoners are the world's largest concentration of terrorists. If those fighters are set free, officials fear a replay of what happened in Iraq between 2010 and 2013, when the core group who founded ISIS were released or escaped from detention after U.S. forces left the country.

McConnell warns Trump most of Senate opposes Syria troop withdrawal

  McConnell warns Trump most of Senate opposes Syria troop withdrawal Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell became the highest ranking Republican to criticize President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. forces from a multinational coalition fighting terrorism in Syria. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.McConnell, of Kentucky, went one step further than simply expressing opposition to the move. He reminded Trump that a supermajority of lawmakers — more than two-thirds of the full Senate, voted in January to express support for “continued military presence in northeastern Syria.” And he compared the move to the Obama administration’s inaction in Syria.

Whether or not the Islamic State can rebound, after being driven out of most of its territory in Iraq and Syria , for now it is Asli Aydintasbas, a senior fellow with the European Council for Foreign Relations, said the United States was on the “verge of another historic betrayal of the Kurds ,” which could lead

Syrian Kurds gather round a US armoured vehicle on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria in October. The debt owed to Kurdish forces is acknowledged by western security partners who realise Isis remains unfinished business. Whether the Kurds can trust the US has already been answered.

Some of the very people who broke out of Iraqi prisons helped turn ISIS into a movement that not only seized territory in Iraq and Syria, but orchestrated and encouraged terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States.

More broadly, current and former officials say, a large Turkish military incursion into Northern Syria will have the effect of removing the single greatest source of counterterrorism pressure against ISIS — a Kurdish force that has been crucial to defeating and containing the terror group.

Asked about the risks, U.S. intelligence officials chose their words carefully Wednesday, not wanting to say anything publicly that appears to criticize Trump's policies. But they did not dispute what one of the top counterterrorism officials in the government told NBC News last month — that ISIS remains a dangerous threat, and that reduction of counterterrorism pressure on the group would "set the conditions for potential re-emergence in a very powerful way."

Trump defends Syria move: The Kurds 'didn't help us' in Normandy

  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.

Kurdish fighters in northern Syria partnered with the United States to fight the Islamic State, but may find themselves facing Turkey’ s military alone. It was unclear on Monday when and where Turkish forces would cross into Syria , but the sense of betrayal by the United States among Syrian Kurds

FOR YOUR RADAR -- “ Intel officials say ISIS could regroup after U . S . ‘ betrayal ’ of Kurds in Syria ,” by NBC’ s Ken Delanian and Dan De Luce: “A sustained Turkish military operation against U . S .-backed Kurdish forces in Syria — which President Donald Trump appears to have permitted

"They are absolutely still a viable external operational threat globally," said the official, who chose not to be identified.

Just days before Trump ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from the border region of northern Syria, a bipartisan team appointed by Congress, the Syria Study Group, issued a report warning that an American pullout would take the pressure off the terrorists.

"There's ample evidence ISIS is still very much active, it has access to tremendous resources, its brand still has international appeal," said Dana Stroul, co-author of the Syria Study Group report and a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank.

"We know that ISIS is looking for opportunities to reconstitute and certainly the lifting of pressure on ISIS is likely to provide the organization with that opportunity."

The report said that ISIS had lost its grip on territory in Syria and Iraq but had "morphed into an insurgency with the will, capability, and resources to carry out attacks against the United States."

They Think Trump Betrayed the Kurds. Why Do They Still Support Him?

  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?

Critics say the pullout green-lights a Turkish military assault on the Kurds , who Turkey views as terrorists, raising fears of potential ethnic cleansing. It also raises serious concerns about the security of an estimated 80,000 ISIS prisoners currently held in Kurdish prisons. U . S . officials have previously

U . S .-backed Kurdish fighters have halted operations for now against Islamic State in Syria as Turkey launches a military offensive in Syria ' s But any suspension in such activities would represent a direct setback to the central U . S . goal of helping the Kurdish -led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) secure

Apart from ISIS, al Qaeda-linked groups and other extremists are active in Syria, taking advantage of the chaos of the country's civil war, according to the report.

"Areas of Syria have become safe havens for al Qaeda and its fellow travelers and home to the largest concentration of foreign terrorist fighters since Afghanistan in the 1990s," the report said.

Current and former officials also expressed frustration over what they see as a profound betrayal of a Kurdish force — which fought under the rubric of the Syrian Democratic Forces — that lost thousands of men fighting to defeat the ISIS caliphate on behalf of the United States.

"I've worked directly with the SDF and had many fighters from the group I grew to trust with my life," a former CIA officer told NBC News. "Now I realize they are all going to be killed or detained after we betrayed them — killed with weapons we gave to Turkey."

Tom Donilon, who was President Obama's national security adviser, told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, "We have given a green light to the Turks to come and fight our allies. … It's a real stain on the reputation of the United States."

Trump sends $50 million in emergency funds to Syria

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But administration officials said they were determined to continue their relationship with the Kurds because of their effectiveness in fighting militants. “We cannot allow history to repeat itself in Syria ,” he said . “ ISIS presently has one foot in the grave, and by maintaining an American military presence

Officials scramble to understand implications of US move as Kurds face prospect of invasion alone. Turkish and US soldiers patrol together in Northern Syria , in Tal Abyad, near Turkey border in Kurdish forces in Syria have said the fate of tens of thousands of suspected Islamic State fighters

Some analysts see it differently, pointing out that U.S. backed Kurdish forces are linked to the PKK, a Kurdish military group that has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union. Turkey has been fighting the group for decades, they say, and there was always going to be a day of reckoning, unless the U.S. planned to keep troops in Syria forever.

The former CIA officer said in response: "They trusted us and believed us. If we didn't intend to honor our promise, we should not have made it."

The White House declined to comment, but referred NBC News to a previous statement by President Trump:

"Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place — and we will hold them to this commitment. In addition, Turkey is now responsible for ensuring all ISIS fighters being held captive remain in prison and that ISIS does not reconstitute in any way, shape, or form. We expect Turkey to abide by all of its commitments, and we continue to monitor the situation closely."

Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS .
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey, penned an open letter in English rebuking President Trump's comparison of the group to ISIS amid a fight between Kurds and Turkish forces in northern Syria. © Reuters/NDN Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS The PKK said in Friday's letter that it "refused comparisons" to ISIS after Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday that the Kurds were "no angels" and that the PKK is likely "more of a terrorist threat" than ISIS.

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