WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As President Donald Trump moves ahead with the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, backlash continues to pour in from Democrats and members of his own party.
“We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives,” Trump said.
Trump says he wants to bring the soldiers back home but Defense Secretary Mark Esper says they’ll be staying in the region.
“The current game plan is for those forces to reposition into Western Iraq,” he said.
The withdrawal of nearly 1,000 troops will take weeks, according to Esper. He said they will help defend Iraq and “perform a counter-ISIS mission as we sort through the next steps.”
Some lawmakers are standing by the president while others believe his decisions are undermining the country’s standing in the world.
“I don’t see a clear mission in Syria,” Congressman Tom Reed, R-New York, said. “I believe those troops were there illegally and unconstitutionally to begin with. Congress has the war power and that’s never been done with Syria.”
Reed says the redeployment of our troops to existing bases is routine. But Democratic lawmakers like Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin say the move makes Americans less safe.
“I think it’s going to go down in history as one of the worst blunders in U.S. foreign policy,” he said. “This will not make the United States or that region more secure.”
“The only person that can stop this disaster from happening is President Trump,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, added.
Murphy says the move will allow ISIS to strengthen and disrupt any stability in the Middle East.
“As we speak, ISIS prisoners are escaping, are reconstituting, are potentially planning attacks against the United States,” he said.