The United States only has around 1,000 troops in Syria. These troops have worked with the Kurdish forces in counterterrorism operations that effectively curb ISIS. The Kurds have captured many members of ISIS and their families and held them in both prisons and camps.
Trump wanted to hold Turkey responsible for the 12,000 ISIS fighters and 58,000 women and children whom the Kurds hold.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has talked to Trump, suggesting he “exercise American leadership” and keep the American troops secure. He pointed out that removing our troops in northern Syria would only help our enemies, according to The Wall Street Journal:
‘American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawl.’
Graham uncharacteristically opposed Trump. He said the pullout was “a disaster in the making. [ISIS would return] and “will be a stain on America’s honor for abandoning the Kurds.”
Senator Graham planned to introduce bipartisan legislation with Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-NH) to sanction Turkey if it invaded Syria. It would also suspend Turkey from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Graham strongly disagreed with the White House’s statement saying that American forces were not necessary in the area. Trump said the Islamic State territorial caliphate had been defeated. Graham said:
‘The biggest lie being told by the administration is that ISIS has been defeated. I like President Trump, I tried to help him, this to me is just unnerving to its core.’
McConnell reminded Trump that the Senate just voted to keep the troop in Syria in January. Legislators were alarmed by the president’s sudden plan. In the meantime, they have been working to find solutions to punish Turkey if it invaded the Kurds. It would be a bloodbath otherwise, because Erdogan considers the Kurds terrorists.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NB) hoped that the president would reconsider his plan:
‘If the president sticks with this retreat, he needs to know that this bad decision will likely result in the slaughter of allies who fought with us, including women and children.’
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) called upon the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees to hurridly call Defense and State Department witnesses to explain Trump’s plan:
‘The Trump Doctrine continues—abandon allies and embolden adversaries.’
Trump tweeted a warning aimed at Turkey. He said now was the time for America:
‘…to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars…Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to…figure the situation out. [of Ankara] does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.’
Sanctions have prevented Turkish behavior the U.S. did not condone in the past and could do so now.
Some former Trump administration officials also condemned the planned pullout from northern Syria.
Even some of the president’s administration members were against the plan for U.S. troops to pull out of northern Syria. Former Ambassador to the United Nations Mikki Haley emphasized that the Kurds were integral in the fight against Islamic State in Syria (ISIS):
‘We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. Leaving them to die is a big mistake.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.