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Republicans Feud Over Trump's Syria Decision

October 7, 2019 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: SyriaKurdsDonald TrumpRepublican PartyTurkey

Republicans Feud Over Trump's Syria Decision

Here's what they had to say.

Republicans took to Twitter on Monday in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria.

The decision will allow Turkey to invade the country and potentially attack Kurdish fighters, who allied with the U.S. to defeat ISIS, according to a New York Times report.

Some Republicans who often side with Trump opposed the decision. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — who has been a staunch supporter of the president in recent years — for example, went on a Twitter rampage Monday expressing his disapproval of the move, which he called “sad” and “dangerous.”

“I don’t believe it is a good idea to outsource the fight against ISIS to Russia, Iran, and Turkey. They don’t have America’s best interests at heart. The most probable outcome of this impulsive decision is to ensure Iran’s domination of Syria. The U.S. now has no leverage and Syria will eventually become a nightmare for Israel,” Graham began.

The most probable outcome of this impulsive decision is to ensure Iran’s domination of Syria.

The U.S. now has no leverage and Syria will eventually become a nightmare for Israel.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 7, 2019

“I feel very bad for the Americans and allies who have sacrificed to destroy the ISIS Caliphate because this decision virtually reassures the reemergence of ISIS. So sad. So dangerous. President Trump may be tired of fighting radical Islam. They are NOT tired of fighting us. Finally, this decision makes it difficult for the U.S. to recruit allies against radical Islam,” he continued.

Finally, this decision makes it difficult for the U.S. to recruit allies against radical Islam.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 7, 2019

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley expressed her sympathy for the Kurds in a Monday tweet, writing, “We must always have the backs of our allies if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. #TurkeyIsNotOurFriend.”

We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. #TurkeyIsNotOurFriend

— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) October 7, 2019

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also criticized the move in a Monday tweet, saying it would “embolden” Iran to “escalate hostile attacks.”

“If reports about US retreat in [Syria] are accurate, the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria,” Rubio wrote. “It would confirm [Iran’s] view of this administration [and] embolden the[m] to escalate hostile attacks which in turn could trigger much broader [and] more dangerous regional war.”

It would confirm #Iran’s view of this administration & embolden then to escalate hostile attacks which in turn could trigger much broader & more dangerous regional war.

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 7, 2019

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney called the decision “a catastrophic mistake.”

“Withdrawing US forces from Northern Syria is a catastrophic mistake that puts our gains against ISIS at risk and threatens U.S. security. This decision ignores [the] lesson of 9/11. Terrorists thousands of miles away can and will use their safe-havens to launch attacks against America,” she wrote in a Monday tweet.

Withdrawing US forces from Northern Syria is a catastrophic mistake that puts our gains against ISIS at risk and threatens US security.

This decision ignores lesson of 9/11. Terrorists thousands of miles away can and will use their safe-havens to launch attacks against America.

— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) October 7, 2019

Daughter of the late John McCain, Meghan McCain, said during a Monday segment of the “The View” condemned “everyone who is supporting this,” according to Mediaite.

“I’ve been so mad this morning and so upset about this news that we are abandoning our Kurdish allies in the Middle East,” she began. “These are allies of ours that American soldiers are still continuing to fight alongside. … And to everyone in the White House and every Republican who was mad when President Obama pulled out of Iraq, you feckless unpatriotic cowards!”

“What message is this sending to our allies and American troops who have fought and died for this? … This is a great day for ISIS and a great day for Assad and shame on everyone who is supporting this,” she continued.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, however, appears to be the lone congressperson who publicly agreed with the Trump administration’s decision.

“I stand with [Donald Trump] today as he once again fulfills his promises to stop our endless wars and have a true America First foreign policy,” Paul wrote in a Monday tweet.

I stand with @realDonaldTrump today as he once again fulfills his promises to stop our endless wars and have a true America First foreign policy.

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 7, 2019

Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a Monday statement that neither Trump nor the Defense Department “endorse” Turkish operations in northern Syria.

“The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey — as did [Trump] — that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria. The U.S. Armed Forces will not support or be involved in any such operation,” Hoffman began.

In conversations between DOD &the Turkish military we’ve consistently stressed coordination &cooperation were the best path toward security in the area. @EsperDoD& Chairman Milley reiterated to their respective Turkish counterparts that unilateral action creates risks for Turkey.

— Alyssa Farah (@PentagonPresSec) October 7, 2019

“As [Trump] has stated, Turkey would be responsible, along with European nations [and] others, for thousands of ISIS fighters who had been captured and defeated in the campaign lead by the United States. We will work with our other NATO allies and Coalition partners to reiterate to Turkey the possible destabilizing consequences of potential actions to Turkey, the region, and beyond,” Hoffman concluded.

We will work with our other NATO allies and Coalition partners to reiterate to Turkey the possible destabilizing consequences of potential actions to Turkey, the region, and beyond.” – @ChiefPentSpox

— Alyssa Farah (@PentagonPresSec) October 7, 2019

Their reactions came after the president announced, “I held off this fight for almost [three] years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” in a series of Monday tweets.

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Image: U.S. Army via Reuters.