The United States' Kurdish allies learned of President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria on Twitter.
According to Newsweek, Syrian Kurds were blindsided by the president's decision, which he announced in a statement on Sunday night. The U.S. allies, who helped American forces combat ISIS in the area, found out about the move online.
"No one in the U.S. government told us" ahead of the announcement, a Kurdish intelligence official told the outlet. "When we heard the news of American withdrawals, well, it was over Twitter, we had no idea, we were like, 'What is this shit?'"
The president's decision followed a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan just as Turkey was planning to invade northern Syria. The move has been seen by many as the U.S. giving the "green light" to Turkey to attack the Kurds, whom Turkey views as terrorists.
"I would have prepared them for a contingency, said to them, 'We're going to get out, if the Turks move in, what are you gonna do?" a former senior U.S. intelligence official said. "To think everything's going to be fine and lovely, that's not how Agency officers view these situations."
By Wednesday, Turkey announced its intentions to launch a military operation into the region. On Friday, a Pentagon official said U.S. Special Forces in the area came under Turkish shelling. Turkey insisted the incident was a mistake, but U.S. officials have said the nation is aware of the location of American forces "down to the grid" and were unsure if the move was deliberate.
On Saturday, the commander of Kurdish forces in Syria accused the U.S. of leaving them "to be slaughtered" as they endured the Turkish offensive.