Late last night, the White House announced President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, which is a reversal of policy, according to an AP report. Many, including Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio and Senator Bernie Sanders, spoke out against the president’s unexpected move. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out strongly against Trump’s policy reversal early this morning on Twitter, calling it a betrayal to U.S. allies as well as his oath of office.
“Let us be clear: The president has sided with authoritarian leaders of Turkey and Russia over our loyal allies and America’s own interests. His decision is a sickening betrayal both of the Kurds and his oath of office,” Clinton, who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, tweeted.
In the two-paragraph announcement from White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, Trump endorsed a planned Turkish military operation against Kurdish near Syria’s border. Turkey considers the group terrorist insurgents. The New York Times reported that Trump made the move despite recommendations from officials at both the State Department and Pentagon to keep a small number of U.S. troops in the region to help protect against Islamic State or ISIS operations. The Syrian Democratic Forces, or S.D.F., has been the most reliable allies in the U.S.’s fight against ISIS in the region.
The president tried to make this move last December. The abrupt announcement last year drew sharp criticism from then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and others. Ultimately, the president reversed his position after the extreme backlash. This time, though, it appears as if the U.S. troops in the region are moving out in advance of the Turkish operation, and the president seems to be committed to his choice to remove the soldiers.
In a series of tweets this morning, Trump said that the U.S. mission in Syria was only supposed to be for 30 days. He also claimed victory over ISIS in the region, and he noted that the country must extract itself from “endless wars.”
“WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.”
President Trump also declared that the U.S. will no longer house 10,000 captured ISIS fighters and called on Europe and Turkey to figure out what to do with the prisoners. The president said that most of those who have been caught are from Europe.
Although Trump declared ISIS defeated, NYT reported that the Islamic State is strengthening in the region and conducting attacks across both Syria and Iraq. Officials worry that Trump’s move will destabilize the Middle East and lead to ISIS growing stronger.
The Inquisitr previously reported that Graham, who is often a staunch Trump ally, vowed to reverse the president’s resolution, and he called Trump’s decision “impulsive.”