Following the White House's announcement on Sunday that the U.S. would be withdrawing troops from northern Syria, President Donald Trump faced a barrage of criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who said the move would abandon our long-standing allies in the region, Kurdish fighters who have assisted with the fight against Islamic State terrorists.
The abrupt decision by Trump on Sunday came after a call between the president and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while Turkey prepared an invasion of Syria. On Tuesday, Trump defended the move on Twitter, writing that the U.S. had in no way "Abandoned the Kurds" calling them "special people and wonderful fighters."
"We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters. Likewise our relationship with Turkey, a NATO and Trading partner, has been very good. Turkey already has a large Kurdish population and fully understands that while we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency. We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons!" Trump tweeted.
Several top Republicans decried the move, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter, who called the decision to withdraw the troops a "stain on America's honor."
During an interview on "Fox & Friends," Graham said Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of the region was "short-sighted and irresponsible" and has "undone all the gains we've made."
Similarly, the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), issued a statement about the withdrawal, saying it would only benefit Russia, Iran and the Assad regime.
"A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup," said McConnell. "As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal."
On Monday, Trump warned Turkey, saying that he told them that "if they do anything outside of what we think is humane ... they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy."
Photo: Getty Images