Republican Lawmaker Indifferent To Ethnic Cleansing Of American Allies
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria and abandon America’s Kurdish allies was likely a good decision, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said on Wednesday — even if it resulted in ethnic cleansing.
“If Turkey was planning on coming into northern Syria and trying to ethnically cleanse the Kurds, and U.S. troops were caught in the middle, I am not completely convinced that it was a bad idea to get them out of harm’s way,” the lawmaker told reporters after Trump announced the lifting of sanctions against Turkey.
As many as 160,000 Kurds have been displaced, Dallas News reported, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan authorized an offensive in the region he claims was meant to create a “safe zone” buffer between Syria and Turkey.
Trump’s decision drew immediate criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, who accused the president of stepping aside to allow Erdogan’s attack against an ethnic group that helped the U.S. fight ISIS in Syria. More than 10,000 members of the Kurdish forces were killed during the several years they partnered with the U.S.
“As if clearing the way for a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Syrian Kurds wasn’t enough, President Trump seems determined to keep handing political and military victories to Russia and Syria, kowtowing to Turkey, and opening the door for further Iranian expansion in the region,” said Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“The murderous Syrian regime and the Russian security forces continue to rejoice over their control of almost all remaining autonomous Kurdish territory, in some cases literally standing in abandoned American military posts,” he continued, according to Dallas News. “The only question remaining is whether President Trump is acting directly at the behest of Russian and Turkish leaders, or whether he is willfully blind to his own failures.”
On Wednesday, Trump lifted sanctions his administration had imposed on Turkey on October 14 and declared victory in the region.
Asked for his opinion on the move, Cornyn said: “This thing changes pretty quickly, and we need for this to play out a little bit to have some clarity.”