Senior Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani on Thursday commented on the recent developments in Syria, expressing his concern about the situation of Kurds there, following the United States’ announcement of an imminent withdrawal from the country.
In a statement on his official website, Barzani voiced apprehension about prospects for Kurdish populations in Syria and said the news was worrying, given current circumstances.
The senior Kurdish leader said he wished the situation in Syria had not led to this outcome, stressing that tens of thousands of Syrians are still displaced and live under fear of attacks from terror groups like the so-called Islamic State (IS).
He also said the Kurdistan Region had “expressed its concern” on numerous occasions about the ongoing humanitarian conflict in Syria since IS emerged in mid-2014.
“The Kurds in Syria have suffered in the past [under oppressive regimes], and the people of Syria, in general, continue to live in fear as the war against IS continues,” Barzani said in the statement.
He then added that he hoped that Syrians do not face further conflict and hardship.
“My hope is that the recent developments do not cause more violence and war in the country, and I hope the people of Syria, including the Kurds, no longer have to see more pain and suffering,” the statement concluded.
In a surprise statement on Wednesday, the White House ANNUNCED it was withdrawing US forces from Syria east of the Euphrates.
America has approximately 2,000 troops in Syria where they have been backing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against IS.
The US decision to withdraw its forces affects others in the region as well. For the Kurdistan Region, it raises the prospect of renewed instability on its western border.