President Trump defends Syrian troop withdrawal
President Donald Trump speaking during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
UPDATED 1:35 PM PT — Monday, October 21, 2019
President Trump is, once again, defending his decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria. During a cabinet meeting Monday, the president said the U.S. never gave a commitment to protect the Kurds forever. He also said he still wants to bring troops home, but both Israel and Jordan requested he keep some forces in Syria.
His comments come amid the early stages of the withdrawal, where only troops stationed along the Syrian border have left. President Trump went on to say if Turkey misbehaves, the U.S. will tariff it’s goods and impose further sanctions.
Meanwhile, some of the president’s biggest allies in Congress are making their case for Republicans to support the troop withdrawal. Representative Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz published an op-ed Monday in which they argued the decision saves American lives and fulfills the president’s campaign promise on stopping endless wars.
The lawmakers said the contribution made by some Kurds to defeat ISIS should not be “minimized,”
but they also stressed that not all Kurdish factions are the same. This comes after the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, was designated a terrorist organization by the State Department.\
Last week Gaetz spoke on the House floor to explain why the U.S. should not involve itself with “complex” regional conflicts.
“I’ve heard my colleagues say we should not leave Syria without a strategy,” he stated. “Perhaps it is equally logical that we should not stay in Syria without a strategy because in Syria we have tens of Americans stuck between armies of tens of thousands, who have been fighting each other for hundreds of years and who will likely be fighting each other hundreds of years from now.”
Gaetz said if his colleagues want to continue what he calls this “congressionally unsanctioned war” then they need to pass a resolution authorizing military force.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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