The Kurds are a people without a country. They occupy large swaths of land in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran but have no central government. Kurdish fighters have been constant allies in America’s fight against ISIS, and Peshmerga troops fighting on behalf of the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq fought against the militants after they stormed Mosul.
Without the help of Kurdish forces in Mosul, Raqqa, and across the Levant, America couldn’t have defeated ISIS so handily. In December, after a conversation with Turkey’s president, President Donald Trump announced U.S. troops would be leaving Syria on grounds that ISIS is defeated.
Things have gotten complicated since then.
It’s unclear if the withdrawal will actually take place, Turkey thinks the Kurds are terrorists, and the Kurds are caught between regional power in one of the most complicated conflicts in the world.
Here to help us sort this out is Mohammed Salih. Mohammed spent years working as a journalist for international media in Kurdistan. He’s currently a doctoral student at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication.
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