Devastating consequences in Syria

I first ran for Congress to get us out of endless American entanglements in the Middle East, like Iraq. I have been a persistent critic of the President, but I appreciate his instinct to look skeptically at military action abroad and his active rejection of John Bolton’s eagerness for war.

Foreign policy is complicated. It requires strategy, a knowledge of history, the cultivation of our allies and prioritization of American interests and security. We must balance these factors in a rapidly changing environment while upholding essential American values: freedom and the dignity of all people.

The President’s contradictory actions, admiration for dictatorial strongmen and incoherent strategy on display this past week in Syria have led to victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his client, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asaad. They have further isolated the US, allowed ISIS terrorists to escape and reconstitute, and led to the death and displacement of thousands of Kurds, who have been our faithful allies in the fight against ISIS.

The President’s actions are shameful, and his decisions will have long-time national security implications.

Following the cruel abandonment of our Kurdish allies, the Trump administration decided to send an additional 1,800 troops to Saudi Arabia. When asked why the US would send more troops to Saudi Arabia, President Trump said, “Saudi Arabia has agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing to help them. And we appreciate that.”

Let’s be clear: our U.S. troops are not for sale. Especially not to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who ordered the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and has yet to be held accountable for doing so.

I am joining my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to demand an agreement to halt this ongoing war and end the slaughter. The House is also considering bills to sanction and ban U.S. arms exports to Turkey, as our other allies including France, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands announced they would be suspending arms sales to Turkey.

Congress and the Senate must now work together to rebuke the President’s decision with bipartisan legislation to impose strong sanctions on Turkey until they cease their operations and withdraw their forces.

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