Donald Trump Refers to Ethnic Cleansing as ‘Rough Love’ at Dallas Rally
The president called for Kurdish northern Syria to be “cleaned out.”
President Trump’s betrayal of Syrian Kurds became even more horrifying on Thursday, when he described their communities as needing to be “cleaned out” by invading Turkish forces.
“So you have a 22-mile strip,” said trump of a Kurdish region along Syria’s border with Turkey, “and for many, many years, Turkey, in all fairness, they’ve had a legitimate problem with it. They had terrorists, they had a lot of people in there they couldn’t have. They’ve suffered a lot of loss of lives also, and they had to have it cleaned out.”
The Kurds, one of the world’s largest stateless ethnic groups, have fought against U.S. ally Turkey for years in territorial disputes. These tensions made America’s partnership with Syrian Kurds in the battle against ISIS a precarious one—and Trump’s decision to pull the remaining U.S. troops from the region, clearing the way for a Turkish invasion, a terrible betrayal that provoked condemnation from both Congressional Democrats and Republicans.
Trump’s remarks came in the wake of a U.S.-negotiated five-day pause in fighting between the Kurds and invading Turks. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his goal is to creating a “buffer zone” in Syria’s border region, and to relocate into it millions of Syrian refugees who are currently in Turkey. Around 300,000 Kurds could be displaced, sparking what human rights groups are calling a “humanitarian catastrophe.” And despite the agreed upon pause, violence continued over Thursday night, with Kurds accusing the Turkish military of violating the truce.
“You would have lost millions and millions of lives,” said Trump of the agreement. “They couldn’t get it without a little ‘rough love,’ as I called it.”
“One way to look at this is that President Erdogan and President Trump buried the hatchet – they buried right in the back of the Kurds,” said retired Admiral James Stavridis on NBC’s Today Friday. “This is approaching ethnic cleansing.”