WATCH: Former US military base in N. Syria left deserted following withdrawal
Footage obtained by RT’s video agency Ruptly shows what’s left of a US military base in Tel Arqam, near the town of Ras al-Ain along the Syrian-Turkish border. Sitting atop a sandy hill above sprawling fields on the Syrian countryside, the desolate base now looks more like a ghost town.
Constructed of wood, metal and plastic, the base houses several barracks and command facilities, while its barbed wire defenses and watchtowers remain erected around the perimeter. Yet, all the US troops have already withdrawn, leaving what once were battle positions and the surrounding area empty. A handful of Kurdish fighters are the only people seen in the footage, who now solemnly watch guard over the base.
The White House announced its surprise decision to pull American forces from areas controlled by the US-backed Kurdish fighters on Sunday, just as Turkey was amassing troops on the other side of the Syrian border. While Washington saw the Kurds as valuable allies in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) extremists, Ankara considers any armed Kurdish factions in Syria to be linked to its own domestic militants, the Kurdistan Workers Party, which it has deemed a terrorist group.Also on rt.com WATCH American troops & vehicles withdraw from Kurdish-controlled N. Syria ahead of imminent Turkish op (VIDEO)
The withdrawal was seen by some critics as a sign that Washington was abandoning its Kurdish allies in the face of a Turkish invasion, which could inflict heavy casualties on the armed groups near the border.
President Donald Trump has dismissed the idea that the US would leave the Kurds – who he called “special people and wonderful fighters” – to a grisly fate, warning NATO partner Turkey of “economic devastation” if their upcoming incursion led to any “unnecessary fighting.”Also on rt.com Trump says US not abandoning Kurds, again threatens ‘partner’ Turkey with economic devastation
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