US Special Forces soldier wears BANNED Kurdish patch as troops pull out of Syria

Mail Online | 10/20/2019 | Megan Sheets For;Wires
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A US Special Forces soldier was seen wearing a banned Kurdish patch in an apparent show of solidarity for fighters in northern Syria as American troops abandoned a key military base.

A bright green patch bearing the letters YPJ - a symbol of the Syrian Kurdish Women's Protection Units - stood out on the soldier's shoulder as he sat atop a tank in a 70-strong convoy headed out of Tal Tamr on Sunday.

Patches - Officials - Tensions - US - Turkey

The patches were banned by officials in 2016 after they inflamed tensions between the US and Turkey because the Kurdish YPJ militia, a key American ally against the Islamic State in Syria, is considered a terrorist group by the Turkish government.

The soldier made a strong statement in wearing the patch as the majority of the 1,000 troops stationed in northern Syria approximately withdrew from the region under orders from US President Donald Trump.

Pullout - Abandons - Allies - ISIS - US

The controversial pullout largely abandons Kurdish allies who have fought against ISIS alongside US troops for years, leaving them vulnerable to attacks from Turkey that have killed 114 civilians and displaced at least 300,000 people since October 9.

Videos shared on social media showed protesters attempting to block military vehicles as they left the region.

Sunday - White - House - Official - Trump

Later on Sunday a senior White House official indicated that Trump is considering a Pentagon plan to keep some 200 troops in eastern Syria, marking yet another strategy change by the seemingly indecisive president.

YPJ is the all female counterpart to the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

Soldiers - YPJ - Patches - Spring - Officials

American soldiers were reprimanded for wearing YPJ patches in the spring of 2016 after Turkish officials branded them 'unacceptable'.

'Wearing an insignia of a terrorist organization by US soldiers, who are our ally and are assertive about fighting against terrorism, is unacceptable,' Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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