Manjib: The city of Manjib in northeastern Syria has become a focal point for those who have attacked President Trump for pulling American troops from Syria.
Newspaper columnists, Internet bloggers and even Senators have accused President Trump of “abandoning the Kurds” and pointed to Syrian government troops moving into the city of Manjib as proof.
The city of Manjib is 80% Arab. It is not Kurdish at all. During the time American troops were in northern Syria the city of Manjib was given to the Kurds to administer. No Arabs were allowed in the city administration. The majority Arab population was informed that they had to learn Kurdish to do business with the city.
After the American withdrawal, people flooded the streets of Manjib to welcome the Syrian Arab Army waving Syrian flags and holding up portraits of President Assad. In the northern part of the city, Russian military police patrolled between the Syrian Army to the south and the Turkish army to the north of the city
Videos posted on the internet show the Arab population waving and cheering the Russian police. They viewed the departing Kurdish controlled SDF as oppressors not saviors. (The USA established the Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF. Beside Kurds the SDF has Sunni Muslim units from Chechnya, Russia who fought the Russian government there in an uprising.)
In Christian areas controlled by the Kurdish led SDF the situation was extremely bad for Assyrian Christians. Christian schools were closed, and the children were ordered to attend public schools and to learn Kurdish. This was a huge issue for the Assyrian Christians whose primary language is ancient Aramaic and their second language is Arabic. The children were being forced to learn a third language.
This is not new. Kurds have historically repressed and even massacred Christians in Syria and Iraq. They participated in the Armenian genocide.
YES … The mainstream media (MSM) has for years portrayed the Kurds as angels who have never committed a crime at any time in history. Many American Christians honestly believe the Kurds are Christians when in fact they are for the most part Sunni Muslims, except for the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) which is Marxist and on the U.S. terror list.
On the positive side, the Iraqi Kurds do, for the most part, currently lean to the secular. But the aid the United States sends directly to the Kurdish Administration in northern Iraq never trickles down to the Christian population.
Ministries we support work out of Erbil on some of our projects. Erbil is under Kurdish control. New construction is everywhere, and the water and sewage systems are first rate thanks to American taxpayer money. That is not true in the Christian town of Ankawa next to the Erbil airport. The streets are bad, the water supply is not reliable, and the town has the odor of a poor sewer system. Power outages are the norm.
Bottomline: Christians in Kurdish areas are at best second-class citizens.
A reporter for Reuters interviewed me about the withdrawal of American troops. It was obvious to me that his agenda was to criticize President Trump and hold the Kurds up as heroes.
I told him the Kurds were a minority in the “Kurdish area” of Syria established by the United States and that their fighters were being paid by the United States to block oil from being pumped from the rich oil area of Syria to the area held by the Syrian government.
The reporter appeared shocked to learn that Kurds were the minority in the area east of the Euphrates River they controlled, and that the Syrian government had no access to their oil fields in that region.
The next day the article appeared nationwide and just one line was a quote from me. None of the information I furnished to him as used.
For now, the Kurds in northern Iraq appear to respect our government. Of course, we give them hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay respect to us.
The Kurds in Syria appeared to respect us as we were handing out cash and protecting them. As our troops pulled out of the Kurdish area in October they were pelted with eggs, rotten fruit and potatoes. The videos are on the Internet and they are genuine and mentioned by the Associated Press and other news outlets. Too often respect in other countries for our nation and for our brave men and women in uniform lasts only while we are handing over cash to corrupt bureaucrats who make themselves rich first and then take care of those closest to them next. In Muslim countries that means the Christians get nothing that our nation intended for them.
William J. Murray, President