The swift and daring raid by members of the United States Special Operations Command to take out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a resounding success. Al-Baghdadi who was considered the head of ISIS and established a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq before being routed by a U.S.-led coalition. That coalition included the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who did a lion’s share of the fighting. About 11,000 Kurds were killed in the fighting to rid the region of ISIS

Now, that al-Baghdadi is gone, the ridiculous in-fighting of American politics is taking root. Democrats are trying to downplay the significance of the taking out of ISIS’ leadership while forgetting that the former Vice President, who is now a candidate for President totally embraced the killing of Osama bin-Laden after the 2011 operation where SEAL Team 6 commandos killed the leader of al-Qaeda in his compound in Pakistan. “Bin-Laden is dead, GM is alive!” was the rallying cry. 

Democrats were also smarting from being cut out of the loop. President Trump didn’t notify either Nancy Pelosi or Adam Schiff of the operation, citing Operational Security (OPSEC). Even more galling was that President Trump briefed the Russians on the incursion into their airspace. Since the U.S. has been on the ground in Syria, the two sides have agreed to a no-flyover zone over each other’s territory. This operation had to overfly Russian airspace. 

Republicans are acting like an operation like this has never been conducted before. But the biggest issue to come out of this has been ignored. Does the operation that took out ISIS’ leader change our relationship with the Kurds?

After seeing how the events played out and President Trump’s earlier actions where he was seen as abandoning the Kurdish people by withdrawing our troops from Syria, his comments on Sunday morning were enough to give pause. 

While giving kudos to the commandos from SOCOM, Trump in his own inimitable way, tooted his own horn and then thanked Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and the Syrian Kurds, and warned, “We have others in sight. Very bad ones.” He said while the Kurds didn’t play a military role in the actual operation but provided “some information that turned out to be helpful.”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, however, was much less enthusiastic and didn’t name the Kurds by name. Talking with CNN, Esper would only say, “we had some help… from outside partners.” 

The Kurds took to social media to play up their intelligence role in the operation. As early as April, Kurdish SDF intelligence had reported that al-Baghdadi was in the area. The commander in chief of the SDF, Gen. Mazloum Abdi, characterized the raid as “joint intel cooperation on the ground and accurate monitoring” for five months. On Twitter, he said, “Thanks to everybody who participate in this great mission,” even tagging President Trump in the post.