Fri, 18 Oct 2019

Trump comes under fire from his own party over Syria decision

By Jay Jackson, UAE News.Net
08 Oct 2019, 08:28 GMT+10

WASHINGTON, DC - Members of his own Republican party turned on President Trump on Monday over his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria.

The hasty decision was made after the president received a telephone call on Sunday from the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Senator Lindsay Graham, Senator Mitt Romney and former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley railed against the decision.

Trump hit back, even referring to his wisdom as "great and unmatched."

Despite the endless war in Iraq and the neighbouring region having been triggered by the disastrous U.S. decision to invade Iraq, the U.S. president says the resultant mass is something the inflicted countries 'will have to figure out.'

"My goal is to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out," he said.

Mr Trump also threatened to destroy Turkey's economy if it moves against the Kurds, as he has repeatedly claimed to have done to Iran's and China's economies.

"If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey," he said Monday.

Trump's critics say his decision to withdraw U.S. troops will leave the Kurds vulnerable to an attack by Turkey.

"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," Haley who served as Trump's ambassador to the UN said in a tweet on Monday.

Brett McGurk, the former U.S. envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS who resigned in 2018 over President Trump's initial decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, a decision he later reversed, was also critical.

"Donald Trump is not a Commander-in-Chief. He makes impulsive decisions with no knowledge or deliberation. He sends military personnel into harm's way with no backing. He blusters and then leaves our allies exposed when adversaries call his bluff or he confronts a hard phone call," McGurk said in a tweet.

"Bottom line: Trump tonight after one call with a foreign leader provided a gift to Russia, Iran, and ISIS," McGurk added.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming whose father was instrumental in the decision to invade Iraq was also critical.

"Withdrawing U.S. forces from northern Syria is a catastrophic mistake that puts our gains against ISIS at risk and threatens America's national security," the House Republican Conference chairwoman said in a statement. "Pulling out of northern Syria ignores that painful lesson, represents an abandonment of our Kurdish allies despite their vital contributions to the fight against ISIS, emboldens Iran and serves as an undeserved gift to the Ergodan regime, which has only continued its steady march toward Moscow."

Senator Graham told Fox News the decision was "irresponsible," and "impulsive." He later posted in a tweet: "If press reports are accurate this is a disaster in the making."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas was also on the warpath. It would also be DISGRACEFUL if we sat idly by while Turkey slaughters the Kurds, as public reports suggest that Turkish leader Erdogan explicitly told President Trump he intends to do. Kurds risked their lives, for many years, to fight alongside us," Cruz posted on Twitter.

Trump however remained defiant. "The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate," he said in a tweet on Monday.

Later Monday in a news conference, the president again defended his decision. "We want to bring our troops back home and I got elected on that," he said. "I fully understand both sides but I promised to bring our troops home."

"We're not a police force," he added.

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