Agreement to pause Turkey’s campaign in Syria destroys US credibility, top Democrats say, despite demanding it
Can Trump do anything right? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer don’t seem to think so, calling his agreement to pause Turkey’s military campaign in northeastern Syria a “sham.”
The US-Turkey agreement to pause Ankara’s operation “seriously undermines the credibility of America’s foreign policy and sends a dangerous message to our allies and adversaries alike that our word cannot be trusted,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement on Thursday.
President Erdogan has given up nothing, and President Trump has given him everything.
Just last week, however, the pair were tearing their hair out over what they were certain was the impending genocide of the Kurds at Turkey’s hands. Pelosi called President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of northern Syria in order to clear the way for the Turkish anti-terror operation “a foolish attempt to appease an authoritarian strongman,” while Schumer insisted Trump was “putting America in danger.”
With Trump having “rescued” the Kurds from the doom predicted by his opponents – though Ankara has insisted all along that their quarrel is not with the Kurds, but with the PKK, a Kurdish militia group designated terrorists by Turkey, and its alleged offshoot in Syria – the top Democrats have rushed to condemn the deal he made, though it’s hard to see how anyone loses under the agreement.
The 120-hour ceasefire agreed upon by Turkey on Thursday allows the Kurdish militias who previously fought alongside the US to retreat at least 32km from the border. Turkey seeks to turn the cleared area into a “safe zone” and has promised to end its military campaign upon the withdrawal of Kurdish troops. The US said it would not impose any more sanctions, and once the ceasefire is made permanent, all existing sanctions drawn up in the last week will be canceled.
The Democratic leaders quarreled with Trump earlier this week, during a meeting about the situation in Syria that saw Pelosi storm out of the room, suggesting their seemingly nonsensical condemnation of Trump’s latest move after getting what they wanted is motivated primarily by spite. In the meantime, the House of Representatives had voted overwhelmingly to condemn Trump for the troop pullout, perhaps forgetting they’d never authorized a US military deployment to Syria in the first place.
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