Just when the tragedy of Syria couldn’t get any worse, President Donald Trump has single-handedly managed to do just that.
By announcing the withdrawal of US forces from the Kurdish-held north of the country, he effectively gave the neighbouring Turks the green light to invade the region.
While the Kurds have been a major ally of the United States in the fight against the extremists of Islamic State, the Turkish government sees the Kurds as terrorists.
Now Turkish land forces have invaded Kurdish-held areas with close air support, causing panic amongst the local civilian population and thousands of refugees alike. The risk of Islamic State fighters escaping captivity and returning to the fight is worryingly high.
Things are so bad that the Kurds have reached an understanding with their erstwhile enemies in the Assad regime, who have the backing of Russia and Iran.
In what is already a fiendishly complicated situation, the dangers of escalation between proxy forces grows by the day.
The United States has had concerns about being the world’s policeman for a long time, which is perfectly understandable. However, leaving the Syrian Kurds in the lurch and leaving them largely outgunned and defenceless against Turkish aggression is inexcusable.