Pretty much everyone is currently mad at Donald Trump for his sudden decision to hand over control of northern Syria to Turkey, putting the Kurdish forces fighting against ISIS at risk for the sake of an authoritarian dictator. From Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the left to long-time Trump defender Lindsey Graham to televangelist cartoon grandpa Pat Robertson, everybody hates this mess.
Trump’s sudden withdrawal from northern Syria & endorsement of Turkey’s actions could have catastrophic consequences & risks laying the ground for immense violence and suffering.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 8, 2019
We can pursue a strategy to stop our endless wars without endangering the lives of innocent people. https://t.co/N2YWjEGveX
While Ocasio-Cortez says that the move “risks laying the ground for immense violence and suffering,” Graham called into Fox & Friends for a very awkward and tense interview in which he called Trump’s decision “impulsive” and rebuked the idea that ISIS has been defeated. Host Brian Kilmeade agreed with Graham, accusing Trump of abandoning our Kurdish allies.
"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Sen. Lindsay Graham slammed Trump's withdraw of support for Kurdish fighters in Syria.— HuffPost (@HuffPost) October 7, 2019
They called it "disaster" and "impulsive," and implored America to "keep its word." https://t.co/pFt47NY0JX
Turkey has long held a negative view against the Kurds, who are an ethnic group in the Middle East, considering them to be a “terrorist insurgency.” A Kurdish official in Syria expressed accused the U.S. of abandoning them to die at the hands of Turkish forces.
“They have abandoned us to a Turkish massacre,” the official told NBC, according to chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel. “We can no longer fight against ISIS and have to defend ourselves. This could allow ISIS to return to the region.”
Syria Kurdish official told us, reacting to Trump’s overnight decision.— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) October 7, 2019
“The Americans are traitors. They have abandoned us to a Turkish massacre.
We can no longer fight against isis and have to defend ourselves. This could allow isis to return to the region.”
Trump has defended his decision in further tweets as former die-hard allies turn against him. He also defended Turkey, calling the U.S. relationship with the country “very good.” Meanwhile, MSNBC’s Willie Geist is reporting that the real reason that Trump made this decision was that Turkish president and dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was angry about a perceived snub and Trump wanted to get him “off the phone.”
“NBC News learned that the call initially was instigated to quell Erdoğan’s growing rage over not getting a sit-down with President Trump last month at the United Nations General Assembly,” Geist reported.
‘Trump was trying to get angry Erdogan off the phone’: New report suggests horrifying reason for Kurd betrayalhttps://t.co/vQfXyKpet4— Raw Story (@RawStory) October 8, 2019
Even Senate Majority Blocker Mitch McConnell broke from his usual support to criticize Trump on this. His office sent out a press release saying that the “precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime” and that it would “increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”
It’s unclear whether Trump has any allies remaining over his decision, but one thing is clear: Trump has finally succeeded in getting Democrats and Republicans on the same page.
@POTUS is defending his decision to allow Turkey to invade Syria, but Republicans and Democrats alike are against abandoning US allies. Back in 2017, IR experts agreed: the most effective foreign policy tool we have is in maintaining our alliances. #NATO #Turkey #TRIPdata pic.twitter.com/UbaNQdWnK7— TRIP Project (@trip_irsurvey) October 7, 2019