Readers respond to the US president’s decision to bring the troops home
In criticising Trump’s abrupt withdrawal from Syria, Janine di Giovanni won’t admit that what passed for American policy – and by default that of the west – never made sense (Trump’s Syria withdrawal has handed a huge gift to Isis, 22 December). Assad’s secular regime did not pose a threat to the west. Yet from the start of Syria’s troubles we diplomatically sided with the insurgents. We trained “moderates” and supplied them with “non-lethal” equipment. When it became obvious that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey were aiding Islamic State, we turned a blind eye.
Then there was Washington’s creation of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. It was in a sense too successful, occupying much of north-east Syria. No thought was given to reconciling Kurdish rule over extensive Arab-populated areas. And Washington must have known that Turkey would never tolerate a bordering Kurdish state. Syria’s Kurds would have been better off aligning themselves with Assad.
Winterborne Houghton, Dorset