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In the News

AMUDA, Syria — At long last, those of us struggling to maintain a fledgling democracy in Northern Syria have been buoyed by the announcement from the Trump administration that the American military will begin to directly arm the Kurdish men and women who make up the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces. Those forces have been America’s most valued and effective allies in the war against the Islamic State.

This is something we’ve asked for repeatedly during the nearly three years our militias have been fighting the Islamic State and winning, victories achieved despite tough odds and a lack of heavy weapons. We’ve steadily driven the jihadists back hundreds of miles to the brink of defeat at Raqqa. The Islamic State won’t give up its self-styled capital easily. This military aid will be crucial in finishing the job.

But as President Trump prepares to meet next week with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey — no friend to the Kurds in Syria or in his own country — we ask the American president and people to be mindful of the enormous sacrifice the Kurdish people have made in this fight, and the importance of the unique democratic system we have worked hard to build in the area of Northern Syria known as Rojava.