The partnership with Syrian Kurdish forces remains strong and focused on fighting the Islamic State group, despite an expanding Turkish incursion into areas under Kurdish control, a senior U.S. coalition commander said Friday.
The U.S.-Syrian Kurdish relationship, which dates back to 2014, was strained after President Donald Trump last month ordered American troops out of northern Syria, making way for a Turkish military operation of Kurdish-held towns and villages along a stretch of the border.
On Friday, reports said U.S. forces completed their withdrawal from Kobani, a border region where the partnership against ISIS was cemented in 2014, and that Russians moved into to replace them.
The commander’s comments to The Associated Press reflect how troops on the ground are trying to stick to the original aims of the Syria mission despite a reduced and changed footprint.
They say they are staying to fight alongside Kurdish forces against the Islamic State group, as well as deny ISIS the oil fields as a source of revenue while showing support for the Kurdish fighters who have lost a sizable part of the 30 percent of syria they once controlled. Their words however come as Trump says the mission now is focused on securing oil fields and infrastructure.
Source: Military Times.