Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) became the latest Republican in Congress to rip President Trump’s Sunday night decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria and let Turkey invade the Kurdish-held area, especially considering the Kurds helped the U.S. fight ISIS in the region.
Shimkus, who is retiring in 2020, called Trump’s move “terrible and despicable” in an interview with KMOX’s Mark Reardon.
“I’m heartbroken,” he said. “In fact I called my chief of staff in D.C., I said ‘pull my name off the I support Donald Trump list.’ We have just stabbed our allies in the back. The Kurds go back all the way to the first Gulf War.”
The Republican went on to say the White House decision “shocked, embarrassed and angered me.”
Numerous congressional Republicans, including some of Trump’s most vocal allies, have pushed back against the move, including Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), who said it could be the “biggest mistake” of Trump’s presidency.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Congress “must and will” act after Turkey launched an offensive on Kurdish forces.
Trump defended the decision yesterday, saying the Kurds “didn’t help us in the second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy as an example.”
Shimkus later clarified his remarks in a statement, saying that “While my votes will continue to support the president’s domestic policy agenda, because of this terrible foreign policy decision I asked that my name be removed from his campaign’s official list of supporters.”
JUST IN –> Statement from GOP @RepShimkus:
"While my votes will continue to support the president's domestic policy agenda, because of this terrible foreign policy decision I asked that my name be removed from his campaign’s official list of supporters.”
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) October 10, 2019
A U.S. special forces soldier expressed his disgust with President Trump’s decision this week, telling Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin that he was “distraught” and “ashamed” by the move.
“I just spoke to a distraught US Special Forces soldier who is among the 1000 or so US troops in Syria tonight who is serving alongside the SDF Kurdish forces,” Griffin tweeted Wednesday evening.
Griffin noted that it was one of the hardest phone calls she’s ever taken.
“I am ashamed for the first time in my career,” the soldier told her. “Turkey is not doing what it agreed to. It’s horrible.”
According to Griffin, the special forces soldier has helped train local forces on the ground in multiple continents.
Tonight, he is on the ground “witnessing Turkish atrocities,” Griffin reported
“We met every single security agreement. The Kurds met every single agreement. There was NO threat to the Turks – NONE – from this side of the border.” “This is insanity,” the concerned US service member told Griffin. “I don’t know what they call atrocities but they are happening.”
“This American soldier told me the Kurds have not left their positions guarding the ISIS prisoners. In fact ‘they prevented a prison break last night without us.”
“They are not abandoning our side (yet),’ Griffin continued. “The Kurds are ‘pleading for our support.’ We are doing ‘nothing.’ ”
The soldier noted that troops on the ground in Syria and their commanders were “surprised” by the decision Sunday night.
“He doesn’t understand the problem,” the soldier said of the President’s decision. “He doesn’t understand the repercussions of this. Erdogan is an Islamist, not a level headed actor.”
“The Kurds are sticking by us. No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us,” he closed.