Outraged residents of the heavily Kurdish city of Qamishli, Syria on Monday hurled potatoes, rotten fruit, and dirt at American soldiers departing the northeastern region of the country on orders from U.S. President Donald Trump, whose decision paved the way for a deadly Turkish invasion.
“Like rats, America is running away,” one man shouted in Arabic as a convoy of armored vehicles made its way through the city.
Other angry residents shouted “America liar” and “No America” in English as they pelted the U.S. vehicles with food.
“The scene encapsulated the Kurds’ feelings of betrayal and added a new indignity to an American withdrawal that has been rushed and saw several close brushes with Turkish-backed forces,” the Associated Press reported. “The Kurds were stunned when President Donald Trump two weeks ago abruptly decided to pull U.S. troops out of border areas, abandoning their allied Kurdish-backed fighters ahead of Turkey’s invasion.”
The incident in Qamishli came hours after a group of protesters near the town of Tal Tamr blocked the road as U.S. tanks and trucks made their way from northeastern Syria to Iraq.
“To the U.S. Army who are leaving northeast Syria, tell your children that the children of the Kurds were killed by the Turks and you did nothing to protect them,” read a sign raised by one resident.
“Thanks for U.S. people, but Trump betrayed us,” read another sign.
The New York Times reported Sunday evening that Trump is considering a new plan that would leave 200 American troops in Syria to “combat the Islamic State and block the advance of Syrian government and Russian forces into the region’s coveted oil fields.”
Earlier Sunday, Trump tweeted that the U.S. has “secured the oil” in Syria and is “bringing soldiers home.” But, as Common Dreams reported Monday, Pentagon chief Mark Esper confirmed the 1,000 American troops withdrawing from Syria are shifting to Iraq, not returning to the United States.