President Donald Trump's withdrawal in Syria before the Turkish incursion helped facilitate that military operation, according to former Middle East policy chief for the Pentagon Michael Mulroy.
"I think the criticism that we've gotten as government, and that I tend to agree with, is that we could have found out how much we could have pushed back," Mulroy told "Foreign Policy." "The opinion was we just capitulated.
"We just withdrew — we should have said, 'We are not withdrawing, we will defend our position, and you explain to me what the immediate threat of the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] is,' because objectively they weren't conducting attacks in Turkey."
Mulroy, who also opposed the exiting of the Iran nuclear deal, has left the administration as the Department of Defense's Middle East policy chief and is now an analyst with ABC News.
"Looking back at it, one could say we helped facilitate the military incursion, because essentially, we helped the Turks do reconnaissance, and since the SDF were with us they believed they weren't going to get attacked and disabled several of their defensive positions," Mulroy continued in the Q&A.
"I don't know if that was the Turks' intent the whole time, I can't say that, but certainly one could question that and say that it was not done in good faith. The negotiations were done as a manner to allow them to do military preparation for an incursion."
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