Donald Trump recently removed U.S. military troops from northern Syria, which prompted criticism from those who believed he was betraying the U.S.-backed Kurds in the region that may be in danger from Turkey. After Turkey began a military offensive on the region called Operation Peace Spring, which targeted Kurdish militants and Daesh terrorists, Trump condemned the attack as a “bad idea.”
One of the biggest concerns about Trump’s decision and the subsequent Turkey attack is that the Kurdish military will release ISIS prisoners, who may be invigorated and cause even more damage and destruction. According to an ABC World News report, the ISIS fighters currently imprisoned in a network of Syrian prisons said they plan to “go after America” if they are released or manage to escape.
According to CBS News, Trump doesn’t believe this will happen. When pressed on whether he’s concerned about the release of ISIS fighters in the White House’s Roosevelt Room on Wednesday, he reportedly suggested he wasn’t scared for the United States.
“Well they’re going to be escaping to Europe, that’s where they want to go, they want to go back to their homes. But Europe didn’t want them from us. We could have given it to them, they could have trials, they could have done whatever they wanted. But as usual, it’s not reciprocal…”
South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, one of Trump’s staunchest supporters, has been highly critical of Trump’s decision, as have many of the president’s other Republican allies.
“Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS,” Graham tweeted on Wednesday.
The WH statement tonight on Syria after Trump spoke with Erdogan demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of anything happening on the ground. The “United States” is not holding any ISIS detainees. They are all being held by the SDF, which Trump just served up to Turkey. pic.twitter.com/vYr7j0q6mR
— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) October 7, 2019
Independent Justin Amash is instead critical of what he sees as Trump attempting to “bluster” about ending the forever wars, suggesting that he’s not actually ending anything.
“Our troops aren’t coming home; a small number were moved so Turkey could escalate the war,” he tweeted, adding that Trump has expanded the United States’ role in Saudi Arabia and Yemen and kept troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Despite the wave of criticism, Trump continues to suggest that his decision is to keep his campaign promise of ending needless military intervention. He recently called the U.S. invasion of Iraq the “WORST DECISION EVER MADE” by the country and attacked George W. Bush for purportedly misleading the public about the reasoning behind the invasion of the Western Asia country. He highlighted the thousands of U.S. soldiers who have died in the war in addition to the casualties on the other side.