US troop withdrawal and its possible impact on Syrian refugees in Turkey

9 October 2019

President Trump has made the decision to pull out US troops from Syria. The news brings huge uncertainty to the fate of IS troops who are currently held in prisons and camps by the Kurdish-led alliance, and for hundreds of thousands of Syrians who may face dangerous displacement.

The Kurdish-led alliance have said it will defend its territory along the Syrian-Turkish border, condemning Trump’s decision to withdraw troops, expressing their anxiety over the re-emergence of IS, reversing the terrorist group’s defeat. Additionally, the alliance, also known as SDF, said that they have been “stabbed in the back” by their US allies and warns that a Turkish offensive will create a permanent war zone.

Turkish President Erdogan claims that the recent offensive in northwest Syria was to create a “safe zone”, this plan was discussed with Trump earlier this year, but Turkey have been left to implement the zone on its own after the US President’s decision.

Erdogan claims that the air strikes, creating the “safe zone”, were carried out to clear the area of Kurdish militias, so that 1 – 2 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey currently, will be able to settle there.

Refugees International President Eric Schwartz responded to Trump’s decision by warning of “major humanitarian consequences.” He continues to worry that the Turkish offensive would likely “force international relief groups to evacuate just when they are most needed.” Schwartz calls Erdogan’s plan to use the “safe zone” to house Syrian refugees, “shockingly irresponsible” and “President Trump must reverse the terrible decision he has made.”

It is extremely early says of this precarious situation with so many possibilities, mostly all bad, so make sure to follow us on social media and sign up to the newsletter to keep up to date!

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