Trump defends green light for Turkey’s attack on Syria
US President Donald Trump has defended his decision to withdraw American forces from northern parts of Syria and allowing Ankara to launch military invasion against the Kurdish-held region in the Arab country.
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The president told reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Monday that "it's time to come back home," further voicing "great respect" for those Republicans that have been trying to change his mind.
"We’ve been there for many, many, many years beyond what we were supposed to be. Not fighting. Just there. Just there. And it’s time to come back home," Trump said in his first public remarks since he decided to pull out US forces. "But I can understand the other side of it… But if you go by the other side, that means we should never, ever come home."
The US commander in chief also asserted that he did not go solo in making the decision.
"I consulted with everybody," he said. "I always consult with everybody."
This is while the decision has faced backlash from many inside the US government, including Trump supporters.
“This is a terribly unwise decision by the president to abandon our Kurdish allies, who have been our major partner,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told Politico.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also criticized the partial pullout on "Fox & Friends," saying that the "impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we've made [and] thrown the region into further chaos.
“I hope I'm making myself clear how shortsighted and irresponsible this decision is in my view,” he added.
Trump’s decision appears to be uniting the Congress at a time that his administration in under pressure over the Ukraine scandal.
“Once again, President Trump is deserting an ally in a foolish attempt to appease an authoritarian strongman. By turning operational responsibility over to the Turks, President Trump has abandoned our Kurdish partners. This decision poses a dire threat to regional security and stability, and sends a dangerous message to Iran and Russia, as well as our allies, that the United States is no longer a trusted partner,” said House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “The President must reverse this dangerous decision. The American people deserve a smart, strong and strategic national security policy that keeps America safe.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a similar statement, urging Trump against troops pullout.
“I urge the President to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners. Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey’s ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage,” said the top Republican. “As we learned the hard way during the Obama administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice has also lambasted Trump’s decision.
"These are the people who for the last four years have been fighting on our behalf with our equipment to defeat ISIS and they have done it with enormous efficacy and they’ve sacrificed immensely and we basically just said to them, ‘see ya,'" said the former Obama administration official (pictured above). "And let the Turks, who are like the hungry wolf trying to kill the lamb, go for it."
The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey would soon launch an offensive in northern Syria.
"It’s just appalling because we promised the Kurds our partnership. And we promised them that if they worked with us to defeat our common enemy, then we would stand with them," she added. "And Trump woke up on the wrong side of the bed it appears, and decided never mind. Which is why suddenly Republicans in Congress have gotten a pulse today."