The scrutiny keeps piling up for President Donald Trump. Most recently, he’s been facing heat over his abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, a move that left Kurds who had been fighting ISIS alongside the U.S. vulnerable to attack from Turkish forces. Those forces have now moved in and killed hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 100,000 more. This Wednesday, as outcry mounts, the House passed a bipartisan resolution condemning Trump’s withdrawal with the support of a whopping 129 Republicans, far more than have broken ranks for most other issues.
That means that the final tally was 354 members in favor and only 60 against. The Associated Press explains:
‘The resolution states Congress’ opposition to the troop pullback and says Turkey should cease its military action in Syria. And the measure says the White House should present a plan for an “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State group.’
One of the looming potential consequences of the chaos in northern Syria that Trump helped create by leaving because he didn’t feel like hosting troops there anymore is the resurgence of ISIS. Already there have been numerous circulating reports of large numbers of escaping ISIS prisoners. At one point recently, a reported more than 700 ISIS-affiliated individuals broke out at once when Turkish shelling got close to their camp and they started a riot.
This week, a U.S. delegation including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and national security adviser Robert O’Brien is heading to Turkey to try and negotiate a cease-fire agreement with their president. However, the Turkish president has already bluntly insisted that he will not be considering a “cease fire,” and so these negotiations seem pretty much doomed from the start. Turkish authorities consider the Kurds to essentially be a terrorist group.
Although there’s that show from a U.S. delegation of trying to address the crisis, Trump himself doesn’t seem to care. Besides having previously dismissed concerns about escaped ISIS prisoners by saying that they’d just go to Europe — as if that’s supposed to be reassuring — this Wednesday, he dismissed the Kurds as “not angels,” as if a mass ethnic cleansing operation should be considered just another day.
‘The Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they’re not angels, if you take a look. You have to go back and take a look.’
That’s the best he’s got? He acknowledged a bit later that the Kurds fought alongside the U.S., but he implied that it’s just because we paid them for it. In reality, they struggled against ISIS to the point of thousands upon thousands of their people dying — and we’ve abandoned them.
In the wake of this abandonment, they have been reaching out to other potential allies to try and bolster their defenses against the Turks, who seem to be intent on wiping at least some of them off the face of the earth. These other potential allies include the Syrian regime and Russia, whose convergence in the area means the U.S. would be shut out and at their mercy.
Featured Image via screenshot