Delaware's U.S. senators voice concerns over troop withdrawal in Syria
Delaware’s senators are voicing concerns about President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria.
Trump’s decision to pull the troops paved the way for Turkey to invade the Northern Syrian enclave to attack the Kurdish fighters. Turkey launched its incursion into Syria Wednesday.
Sen. Chris Coons said former Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned in late 2018 when Trump initially tried to withdraw troops from Syria. He said a bipartisan group of lawmakers were able to persuade the president to keep troops in the region.
Sen. Tom Carper said the Kurds also helped the U.S. fight the Islamic State terrorists.
“Turning our backs on the folks who fought hardest and bravest with us to help stabilize Syria and take out ISIS makes no sense,” he said.
Coons said he’s concerned the attack on the Kurds will lead to the escape of tens of thousands of Islamic State militants detained in Northeastern Syria.
“The Kurds have made it clear that if Turkey invades and begins to attack their families and their villages, they will stop detaining ISIS fighters in order to protect and defend their own families and homes,” he said.
Turkey claims the Kurds are terrorists who are trying to undermine its government.
Coons and Carper argue Trump's move helps foes like Iran and Russia. Former Vice President and current presidential candidate Joe Biden is also sharply criticizing Trump’s decision. The former Delaware senator said it raises doubts with allies about U.S. security commitments and sets the conditions for ISIS to regrow.