President Trump’s Support of Kurdish Group Signals US Policy Shift Away from Turkey, Anti-Assad Groups in Syra

Syrian War, Syrian Civil War, Bashir Assad, Syrian Democratic Forces, Kurdish YPG, Talal Sello,

President Trump is backing up his Anti-Isis rhetoric with action, according to a coalition of Anti-ISIS fighters called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

SDF spokesman Talal Sello told the media that, “American armoured vehicles have arrived for the Syrian Democratic Forces for the first time. This happened after the new US administration came to power.”

Talal also said that he was told this decision to send the group these vehicles was taken by the Trump administration, that it was not something which happened under the Obama Administration.

Talal said,  “Before we used to receive light weapons, ammunition… with these armoured vehicles we’ve entered a new phase in the (US) support. It’s a sign.  We have had meetings with representatives of the new administration, and they promised us extra support.”

While the SDF has been a recognized “partner” by the US, the equipping of these forces was always minimal, with only light weaponry and “advisors” being supplied.  This move by the Trump administration marks a decided shift in policy.

The SDF is comprised largely of Kurdish fighters, specifically, the Kurdish YPG force, which puts it at odds with Turkey.  This opposition by the Turks to the alliance is what led the Obama administration to limit its support of the group.

The fact that the Trump administration is stepping up its support of the group is a sign of two significant shifts in US policy.  The first major shift is a telegraph to the Turks that their interests in the region are no longer a high concern for the US.  The second major shift is that removing Bashir Assad is also no longer a high concern for the US, as the group has little interest in opposing the Assad regime.

On Saturday, January 28th, President Trump signed an executive order commanding US Military leaders to devise a plan to “defeat” ISIS within 30 days.

The order instructs the military leaders to devise a “comprehensive strategy and plans for the defeat of ISIS.”