Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi says Trump’s latest Syria moves are not ‘American’ and he fears for Kurds who fought alongside U.S.
U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who sits on panels overseeing the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, said Monday the president’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and allow Turkey to invade was not “American” and that he fears “the worst” for the U.S. Kurdish allies left behind.
Speaking to reporters in Chicago, the Democratic congressman from Schaumburg said he was “surprised that the president decided to basically pull the rug out from under our allies in northern Syria.”
“I mean, these folks have been with us fighting against ISIS and for the president to basically say, ‘Thank you. See you later,’ and leave them to the devices of the Turkish military doesn’t seem, it doesn’t feel American. That’s not what we should be doing to our allies,” Krishnamoorthi said.
“But that’s been part of a disturbing pattern where we push our allies away and cozy up to adversaries and I fear this is happening again here. This time the repercussions could be a resurgent ISIS in northern Syria,” he said after an appearance at the City Club of Chicago.
Trump announced the move Sunday night and American troops began withdrawing from Syria’s border with Turkey early Monday. Trump on Twitter indicated the U.S. was carrying too big a burden in the fight against the Islamic State. He also said Kurdish allies had received “massive amounts of money and equipment” to fight the militants.
Trump said the United States would not intervene with a Turkish offensive into northern Syria, bringing an end to American efforts to reach a peace deal between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.
Trump’s actions drew a rebuke from many leading Republicans in Congress, a departure from the reaction to some of his past controversial moves involving foreign affairs and foreign leadership.
Krishnamoorthi sits on the House intelligence and oversight committees that are part of the investigation into Trump’s call for Ukraine to investigate potential 2020 rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
The two-term Democrat called the U.S.-allied Kurdish forces “brave fighters” and said he believed Erdogan “definitely” will try to clear the area of them. “I also fear the worst,” Krishnamoorthi said.
Asked if Trump’s decision on Syria should be examined through the lens of the impeachment investigation of the president, Krishnamoorthi was hesitant.
“I think right now we are so focused on the Ukraine issue and there’s so much that needs to be tracked down with regards to that inquiry that I think we need to keep our focus on that first,” he said.
Author: Rick Pearson