Trump suffers rare international rebuke in a withering statement from multiple European countries

Trump suffers rare international rebuke in a withering statement from multiple European countries
President Donald J. Trump joins the G7 Leadership and Extended G7 members as they pose for the “family photo” at the G7 Extended Partners Program Sunday evening, Aug. 25, 2019, at the Hotel du Palais Biarritz, site of the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Leaders from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the European Parliament, and the United States joined together on Friday to issue a damning statement condemning President Donald Trump and Turkey for the ongoing atrocities in northern Syria.

In the statement, the chairs of foreign affairs committees from each governing body said they consider Turkey's recent incursion into Syria targeting the Kurdish people to be "military aggression and a violation of international law."

They continued: "The Turkish offensive is causing suffering for the local people who are forced to flee and a further instability in Syria and the neighboring region."

After effectively giving the green light to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to invade the region after withdrawing American troops more than a week ago, President Donald Trump has tried to defend his decision and claim that he is working with Turkey to resolve the conflict. But observers argued that the agreement the Trump administration reached with Erdogan on Thursday, which Vice President Mike Pence called a "ceasefire," was in fact just a complete capitulation to Turkey's wishes and a betrayal of the Kurds.

The joint statement blasted Trump for abandoning the Kurds, who have long worked as American allies:

We consider the abandonment of the Syrian Kurds to be wrong. The Syrian Democratic Forces, our partner in the Global Coalition, massively contributed to the successful yet unfinished fight against Da’esh in Syria and incurred heavy losses by doing so.

We deeply regret the decision of the President of United States to withdraw American troops from north eastern Syria which marks another landmark in the change of American foreign policy in the Near and Middle East. The turmoil caused by the Turkish offensive may contribute to a resurgence of Islamic terrorism and undermines years of effort and investment to bring stability and peace in this part of the world. Therefore, we hope the United States will take up its responsibility in Syria again.

It added that the chairs of the committees "equally" ask European Union members to take action to immediately end the "horrible war."

Despite the supposed "ceasefire" announced on Thursday, the Turkish government resumed hostilities in the region on Friday. Trump tried to downplay this development, calling it "minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated," citing only Erdogan as his source of information.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported:

UN chemical weapons inspectors have announced they are gathering information following accusations that burning white phosphorus was used by Turkish forces against children in Syria earlier this week.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Friday morning that “it was aware of the situation and is collecting information with regard to possible use of chemical weapons”.

The Kurdish Red Crescent said in a statement that six patients, both civilian and military, were in hospital in Hasakah with burns from “unknown weapons” and it was working to evaluate what had been used.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.