House opposes Trump move to pull forces from northern Syria

Syrian Kurds gather around a US armoured vehicle during a demonstration against Turkish threats next to a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria’s Hasakeh province near the Turkish border on October 6, 2019.Delil Souleiman | AFP | Getty ImagesThe House voted Wednesday to condemn President Donald Trump’s move to pull troops from northern Syria as bipartisan opposition to the move mounts.The bipartisan resolution, passed by a 354-60 margin, adds to the pressure the president faces as Turkey pushes ahead with an offensive in the region. The measure in part opposes the decision to end the military operations, urges Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cease the offensive and calls on the U.S. to support Syrian Kurdish communities.Lawmakers who oppose Trump withdrawing troops worry it will lead to the slaughter on the ground of Kurdish forces, U.S. allies in the fight against the so-called Islamic State. Trump has repeatedly downplayed the potential for Turkey to harm Kurdish troops, even saying Wednesday that they are “no angels.”During a news conference with Italy’s president Wednesday, Trump argued that “I didn’t give [Turkey] the green light” to launch an offensive in Syria.Amid the backlash, the White House has condemned the Turkish offensive. Trump on Monday announced sanctions on Turkish officials and an increase in tariffs on Turkish steel to 50%.Trump has said he pulled the troops from northern Syria in order to follow through on his promise to get the U.S. out of “endless wars.” However, the administration announced last week that it would put thousands more forces in Saudi Arabia. Trump argued Wednesday that the U.S. is sending forces to the oil-rich nation because it “agreed to pay for the full cost of that appointment, and much more.”Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and Trump ally, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., plan to introduce sanctions on Turkey on Thursday. Graham tweeted Wednesday that he fears “this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making” and said he hopes Trump “will adjust his thinking.”Responding to Graham’s criticism, he said “Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next 1,000 years.”Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are heading to Turkey on Wednesday, saying they plan to meet with Erdogan. The Turkish leader had earlier said he would not meet with the U.S. officials, but he later changed his mind, according to a government spokesman.This story is developing. Please check back for updates.Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Show More

Related Articles