AS a Kurd growing up in Scotland I see the Kurds as an invisible nation which has never been taken seriously by the international community. Following Donald Trump’s statement that he intends to withdraw US troops from Syria the reaction from the international community has once again been to ignore the consequences for the Kurds in the region.

Turkey is currently preparing to invade Manbij, a town liberated from Isis by the Kurdish YPG (People’s Defence Units) and now administered by local Arabs. They assert that the YPG and the Women’s Defence Units (YPJ) are terrorists, linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who have been resisting Turkish oppression for decades.

As the world knows, it has been the heroism of YPG and especially the women of YPJ that has fought back Isis, or Daesh as they are known in Syria. Far from being terrorists, they are the allies of the US, UK and other coalition forces who have maintained peace and stability in northern Syria, instituted democratic administrations, women’s liberation and secular politics.

The European Court recently determined that there is not enough evidence to continue listing the PKK as a terrorist organisation and this should be recognized by the International community as a step forward to decriminalize the Kurds.

Turkey’s obsession with stopping Kurdish populations in Turkey or Syria gaining any degree of influence or control determines both its domestic and foreign policies, and the US, UK and the West generally have been happy to go along with whatever Turkey chooses to do.

This has included the suppression by imprisonment and violence of any political opposition in Turkey and the illegal invasion of Afrin in Syria last year and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of the area.

The reaction of our UK Government has been shocking. Despite the attacks on democracy – 150,000 public servants being sacked, hundreds of academics, journalists and elected politicians being jailed – Theresa May has continued to court President Erdogan and sell him arms and military technology.

When our Nato ally illegally invaded Afrin the UK Government justified it by saying that they were protecting their borders, when no-one was threatening Turkey’s borders.

It is a violation of international law when a country invades another.

Turkey has said, repeatedly, that they are going to invade the rest of the north of Syria, the region known to Kurds as Rojava. The consequences for the people of Rojava will be devastating, with thousands likely to die and possibly millions of people displaced.

The UK Government needs to take steps to protect the people in Rojava. Along with other allies it should impose a no-fly zone so that the Kurdish people can defend themselves on the ground without the British/German and US jets flown by Turkey bombarding them.

This would be a prelude to a genuine engagement with all the stakeholders in the region to achieve what the Kurdish people have been fighting for – a peaceful settlement to the Syrian civil war. Any government that cares about humanity, wants to avoid bloodshed and the creation of millions of refugees would do nothing less at this moment.

Failure to act for peace will see the war in the region escalate.

The actions of Trump in betraying the “best boots on the ground” who have fought Isis when everyone else was running away from them will go down in history as a shameful betrayal.

The Kurds in Rojava have demonstrated that they are progressive by creating the democratic, secular and gender-equal institutions that their politics over a generation have talked about.

These ideas have been brought to the table by the PKK and their imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan, in every initiative in Turkey to find a peaceful solution to the “Kurdish Question”. In Rojava they had the chance to implement these ideas.

Turkey has never had the courage to embrace these proposals and wish to stop them gaining a hold Syria, and now Trump has decided that he would prefer to side with the dictatorial and anti-democratic Erdogan than the democrats, secularists and feminists of the Kurds.

The question now for the UK and other Western governments is, whose side are you on?