Kurds rally outside White House – ‘Don’t let your allies perish’

Several dozen protesters gathered in Lafayette Square across from the White House in Washington on Tuesday (October 8) to demand President Donald Trump reverse his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northeastern Syria, opening the door to a Turkish offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters.

Together they held signs, waved flags and chanted in support of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdish female fights of the Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ) who were instrumental in fighting back against Islamic State in Syria.

Sophia Marjanovic, a Native American activist who joined the protest in support of the Kurds, said she feared the withdrawal would lead to a genocide of the Kurdish people.

“Withdrawing support for the Kurds is going to lead to their genocide and that is my concern,” said Marjanovic, whose face was painted with a red hand covering her face.

Trump’s policy whiplash on Syria started shortly after a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday (October 6) in which he sought U.S. support for Ankara’s planned incursion.

Several hours later, the White House issued a late-night statement – which, according to one administration official, was dictated directly by Trump to a senior aide – that said U.S. forces “will no longer be in the immediate area.”

This suggested that Turkey could be given free rein to strike Kurdish forces long aligned with Washington in the fight against Islamic State.

(Production: Nathan Frandino, Deborah Gembara)

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