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Turkey ignored US sanctions and pressed on with its offensive in northern Syria on Tuesday, even though the Russia-backed Syrian army roared into Manbij, Syria, one particular of the most hotly contested cities abandoned by US forces following an abrupt policy shift by President Donald Trump.

Russian and Syrian flags had been flying from a developing on the city outskirts, and from a convoy of military autos. In Manbij, Syrian troops had been manning joint checkpoints, Reuters reported.

Connected: ‘We really feel helpless,’ says Kurdish lady forced to flee north Syria

A week following reversing US policy and moving troops out of the way to permit Turkey to attack Washington’s Kurdish allies, Trump announced a package of sanctions to punish Ankara.

But the measures — mostly a hike in steel tariffs and a pause in trade talks — had been significantly less robust than monetary markets had anticipated, and Trump’s critics derided them as also feeble to have an influence.

Kurdish fighters have served alongside US military personnel for decades. The withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria is bringing back memories for American military veterans.

George Dumaine, who was deployed with the US military to the Turkish-Iraqi border for Operation Supply Comfort in the initially Gulf War, helped set up a tent city to present relief following Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces attacked the Kurds.

Connected: Turkey’s invasion of Syria has left thousands fleeing their houses

The tent city delivers help like healthcare supplies, blankets and medication. Dumaine told The Planet about all the content little ones operating about the tent city.

“The initially time I went into the tent city when it began getting populated with Kurds, [it] was the young children I noticed,” Dumaine mentioned. “They kept operating and [shouting], ‘George Bush No. 1!’ It was definitely cool to see … the current news, it brought it all up and all these memories came back and all these little ones now are all grown males and likely [have] their personal households and it is just a definitely sad point to consider about.”

Years later, in the course of the Iraq War in 2003, a lot of veterans fought alongside the Kurdish peshmerga forces in the Kurdistan Area. Brandon Davis, who served with a civil affairs detachment in northern Iraq, described living and operating amongst the Kurds in Duhok exactly where a peshmerga commander provided his fighters’ support in defending the US military protected home complicated.

Connected: Does US withdrawal leave Syria open to Russia?

“It was our practical experience that they had skin in the game,” Davis mentioned. “They had a tradition of fighting [and] fought against Saddam’s forces for decades. I felt like we’re allies now, I really feel like we have fundamentally applied them.”

Jeremy, who did not want to use his final name due to the fact he’s nonetheless an active medevac pilot in the US Army, spent the improved aspect of 2017 living in northern Syria in a town referred to as Kabani. Jeremy told The Planet about the Kurds who cooked for his unit and how substantially he looked forward to Thursday nights which was “local evening.”

“They would make their kebabs and baba ghanouj, they would make what ever the neighborhood fare was,” he mentioned, “and we identified a way to connect with every single other even in places exactly where we only had so a lot of translators, more than meals and more than fellowship at the finish of a really hard day.”

Jeremy mentioned the policy shift and withdrawal of US troops from the area is far more than a political concern — it is a “relational issue” for him.

Connected: Who are the Kurds?

“It’s frustrating due to the fact at the exact same time, I have to trust the leadership in the military — we have a chain of command for a cause,” he added. “But on the other hand, I’m a human and I see the human expense. I do not want lives to have been lost in vain … Just about every time I study the news, I get a tiny far more angry.”

If you are a US veteran and want to support The World report on defense and military concerns, send an e mail to [email protected] to join our network of veterans. 

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