Col. David Hunt: Trump's Syria Withdrawal Endangers Western 'Influence' on Iran, Russia, Turkey
Retired Col. David Hunt reacted to Defense Secretary James Mattis' resignation and said that President Trump's withdrawal from Syria marks the third time since 9/11 that America has "hurt" the Kurdish people.
"We've hurt the Kurds for 20 years and they still fight," Hunt said.
The Kurds -- considered to be the largest ethnic group in the world to be stateless -- were targeted by the late dictator Saddam Hussein and are also a target of ISIS and related groups.
"The president is right with Afghanistan and Syria," he said of Trump's decision to draw down troops, but said that a complete pull-out of American forces will only endanger the Kurds and may give terrorists the ability to regroup and regrow.
He suggested that, of the 14,000 American servicemen in the region, that about 500 be left "to keep influence" in the area -- preventing rivals Russia, Iran and Turkey from taking over the territory.
Hunt, who served in special operations and as a key military adviser during the U.S.-Bosnian conflict, said Mattis likely did not resign on his own.
He said that Mattis and outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly are both military generals who don't give up on a fight, and that they were likely asked to resign, similar to former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
"These two were not meshing over a long period of time," Melissa Francis said of Trump and Mattis.
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