A barrage of criticism from outraged congressional leaders and pundits greeted President Trump's decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from northern Syria near the border with Turkey. The intensity and breadth of the denunciations increased when Ankara predictably responded to Washington's move by launching a military offensive into Kurdish-controlled territory.
Now, not only is there heavy fighting in Northern Syria, but the Kurds have reportedly struck a deal with Bashar al-Assad's Syrian government for protection, and as of Monday, his forces have moved to the border to bolster the military resistance to Turkey's advancement.
Washington was in an uproar all weekend. According to the prevailing argument, Trump betrayed a noble ally that had fought alongside the United States in the successful campaign against ISIS, and now no one will ever again trust the United States if Washington seeks assistance against a dangerous adversary. The fact that the Kurds have turned to Assad (a stated foe of the U.S. backed by the Russians) only makes Trump's seemingly impulsive move more dangerous.
The implicit message is that the American military presence in Syria should continue indefinitely, lest the Kurds suffer a bloody aftermath at the hands of the Turks and their many other enemies in the region.