Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Thursday slammed President Trump for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria and known as the cease-fire between Turkey and Kurdish-led forces “removed from a victory.”
Talking on the Senate ground after Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement of a five-day cease-fire, Romney stated: “critical questions stay about how the choice was reached precipitously to withdraw from Syria and why that call was reached.”
The cease-fire, introduced after Pence’s assembly with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara, agrees to halt Turkey’s offensive in Syria for 5 days in order that Kurdish YPG forces can pull again from the roughly 20-mile protected zone on the Turkish-Syrian border.
All Turkish army operations will pause throughout that point, and the offensive – generally known as “Operation Peace Spring” – will halt solely upon the completion of the Kurdish withdrawal, beneath the phrases of the deal.
The cease-fire was heralded by President Trump as a “nice day for civilization.” However that didn’t change the very fact, argued Romney, that the U.S. has “deserted” the Kurds.
“Including insult to dishonor, the administration speaks cavalierly, even flippantly, whilst our ally has suffered demise and casualty,” Romney stated. “We as soon as deserted a purple line. Now we abandon an ally.”
He continued: “The choice to desert the Kurds violates certainly one of our most sacred duties. It strikes at American honor. What we now have executed to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain within the annals of American historical past.”
Turkey invaded northeast Syria shortly after U.S. troops withdrew from the realm. Trump’s abrupt determination has sparked worldwide bipartisan condemnation, with lawmakers arguing the choice would result in a resurgence of ISIS and put the Kurds – who helped the U.S. battle the fear group – at risk.
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Regardless of the criticism, Trump has remained steadfast, saying Thursday that Turkey’s invasion of Syria “is between Turkey and Syria.”
“It’s not our downside,” Trump stated, including: “The Kurds know the way to battle. As I stated, they aren’t angels.”
Trump added: “We’re not a policing agent…It’s time for us to go dwelling.”
Romney stated throughout his speech he needs the Trump administration to testify earlier than Congress subsequent week to elucidate its determination.
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He additionally stated the Senate Committee on International Relations — of which he’s a member — was not consulted earlier than Trump’s determination.
“I could be forgiven for questioning why our committee even exists,” he stated.
The Related Press contributed to this report.