Inside Story

What is the US plan for Syria?

Mixed messages after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw troops from Syria before possible Turkish offensive.

The White House is sending mixed messages about the future of the United States’ role in Syria.

President Donald Trump announced on Monday that US soldiers would pull out of northeastern Syria.

This would allow Turkey to launch a military operation against Kurdish fighters, which it considers to be “terrorists”.

A White House official later contradicted the president by saying US troops are only being redeployed, rather than withdrawn.

Syrian Kurds described Trump’s decision as a “stab in the back” after they helped the US defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group.

Even some of the president’s supporters condemned the decision.

So, what are the risks of a military operation in northern Syria? And what will happen to the thousands of ISIL fighters held by Kurdish forces?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Giran Ozchan – People’s Democratic Party representative to the United States, a Kurdish opposition group in Turkey also known as the HDP

Osman Sert – Director of the Ankara Institute who has advised former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Wael Alzayat – Former senior Syria adviser to Samantha Power, a former US ambassador to the United Nations

Molly Sweeney – Journalist and author