In a video he posted to his YouTube channel on December 21, 2018, U.K.-based journalist Abdel-Bari Atwan said that the Kurds have been stabbed in the back repeatedly for over 80 years, and that they are only being exploited by the U.S. and Israel. He said that Syria has given them the best treatment and that they should cooperate with their Arab brothers and become Syrians. Atwan said that he fears that America pulled out Syria in order to allow ISIS to regroup and as part of a plan to ultimately attack Iran. He added that he is nonetheless glad that the American enterprise in the region has been defeated by the resistance and that Israel is besieged from all sides by Hizbullah, Hamas, and Syrian and Iranian forces.
Following are excerpts:
Abdel-Bari Atwan: Our dear Kurdish brothers, why won't you learn your lesson? You have been stabbed in the back repeatedly for over 80 years. I appeared on TV two days ago with [Syrian-Kurdish politician] Elham Ahmad, and she said that the Americans had stabbed [the Kurds] in the back. Is there any space left on your back for the Americans and Israelis to stab you? Haven't you learned? The Americans do not want to give you a state. The Americans and Israelis are exploiting you. Has Syria done anything but treated you well? Syria gave 350,000 of you full citizenship, and considered you to be good Syrian citizens. The Syrian state protected you and treated you with the utmost respect. When the Americans came, you ceased being Syrians, but now that they are withdrawing, you say that the Syrian army should come and protect you from Turkey and from some of the Americans who have not left? What's going on? Why don't you cooperate with us Arabs? We are your brothers. Why shouldn't we be brothers? Why shouldn't you be Syrians? You can be Syrians and Kurds at the same time, just as there are Arab Syrians and Christian Syrians. Why not?
I am afraid of two important things. First, I fear that America, or Trump, has decided to withdraw [from Syria] in order to create chaos in the region, and in order to allow ISIS to rest, so that it can expand even more than it did the first time around. That's one thing. Second, I fear that Trump made this decision because he plans a war against Iran. He does not want to leave 2,000 American special operations soldiers in Syria. He even withdrew the diplomats, or he plans to withdraw them. He does not want to leave them there for a very simple reason: because if he attacks Iran, they would be victims and prisoners left to the mercy of Iran and its allies, such as Hizbullah, the PMO in Iraq, or the Iraqi Hizbullah Al-Nujaba Movement. [Trump] is afraid of this. So maybe the withdrawal from Syria and the withdrawal of 7,000 soldiers from Afghanistan, who are at the mercy of the Taliban... There are strong ties between the Taliban and Iran. This is a proven fact.
Despite all this, I want to say that I am glad. I am glad because America has been defeated. The American enterprise in the Middle East has been defeated. It has been defeated by the resistance – by the resistance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, by the steadfastness of the Syrian Arab Army, and by the steadfastness of all the honorable people in the region who faced this enterprise. The enterprise has been defeated, along with all of America's collaborators. Israel is now besieged by Hizbullah from the north, by Hamas from the south, and by Hizbullah and Syrian and Iranian forces from the east. The resistance has very advanced missiles now. It even has UAVs. There will be surprises in the region. I believe that the coming year will be different. We do not want Trump to be a policeman in our region. Thanks be to Allah, good times are coming. Thank you, and best wishes to all!