Last updated on: 10/17/2019 10:50:40 AM PST
Should the US Have Withdrawn Troops from Northern Syria in Oct. 2019?
American troops allied with Syrian Kurdish forces to fight ISIS in northern Syria. About 1,000 US troops remained in Syria as of Sep. 2019. The White House announced on Oct. 6, 2019 that Turkey, a NATO ally, would be moving forward with a "long-planned operation into northern Syria" but that US forces would not be involved and "will no longer be in the immediate area."
Turkey launched a military incursion into northern Syria that US Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said resulted in "a potential ISIS resurgence, possible war crimes and a growing humanitarian crisis." On Oct. 14, 2019, President Trump stated, "As I have said, I am withdrawing the remaining United States service members from northeast Syria."
"After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria. Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land. I said to my Generals, why should we be fighting for Syria....
....and Assad to protect the land of our enemy? Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!
Some people want the United States to protect the 7,000 mile away Border of Syria, presided over by Bashar al-Assad, our enemy. At the same time, Syria and whoever they chose to help, wants naturally to protect the Kurds....
....I would much rather focus on our Southern Border which abuts and is part of the United States of America."
Source: Donald Trump, Twitter.com, Oct. 14, 2019
"Donald Trump sold out the Syrian Democratic Forces — the courageous Kurds and Arabs who fought with us to smash ISIS’s caliphate — and he betrayed a key local ally in the fight against terrorism. But that’s not all — he betrayed our brave troops, who sacrificed alongside them. He betrayed our word as a nation — raising doubts among our allies around the world about America’s security commitments. And he betrayed our security by green lighting a Turkish incursion that will create chaos and destruction, setting conditions for ISIS to regrow."
Source: Joe Biden, "Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the Consequences of Donald Trump’s Decision to Remove Troops from Syria," medium.com, Oct. 10, 2019
"Not then. Not because Turkey's President Erdogan told Trump to remove US troops so Turkey could invade and attack the Syrian Kurds. Trump then moved US troops south to take Syria’s oil fields. That was wrong. All US troops should now withdraw from Syria."
Source: Email from Kevin Zeese with the Hawkins campaign, July 2, 2020
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