Nikki Haley: The U.S. Should Always Have the Backs of Our Kurdish Allies

Former UN ambassador says Kurds lost a lot of blood in 'our fight' and troops should be kept for prevention

Nikki Haley speaks at the 2019 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, March 25, 2019. 

Jose Luis Magana,AP

Former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday that the U.S. should have the backs of the Kurds. "I think we should always have the backs of our allies" Haley told "CBS Sunday Morning"

Speaking of U.S. President Donald Trump's early October decision to withdraw American troops stationed in northeastern Syria, Haley expressed concerns over not backing Kurdish allies.   

Haley has a new book out in which she writes that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told her that people would die if Trump went unchecked as he tried to convince her to join him in undermining the president.

"The Kurds lost a lot of blood. 11,000 people were killed in our fight together against terrorism," she added, referring to a deal between Kurdish fighting groups and the U.S. to help fight the Islamic State. The pullout paved the way for a Turkey offensive against Syrian YPG militia to clear the zone of so-called terrorists.

The move has widely been seen as a major betrayal to the Kurds and an opportunity for a resurgence in Islamic State fighters.  

"We should always want to bring troops home but we have troops all over the world…we don't have them [there] because we're at war, we have them for prevention. To make sure we are able to prevent, especially in the Middle East."