Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney (Wyoming) claimed in an interview with Fox News on Monday morning that Democrats are to blame for Turkey’s invasion of Northern Syria because they launched an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, despite the fact that the president abruptly ordered U.S. forces to withdraw from the Middle Eastern nation so that Turkish forces could launch an attack on Kurdish forces.
“I also want to say that the impeachment proceedings that are going on and what the Democrats are doing themselves to try to weaken this president is part of this,” Cheney argued.
“It was not an accident that the Turks chose this moment to roll across the border,” she claimed. “And I think the Democrats have got to pay very careful attention to the damage that they’re doing with the impeachment proceedings.”
Liz Cheney suggests Erdogan is attacking Kurds now because Trump is beset by impeachment.
Instead of blaming Dems, maybe she should help get us a POTUS who can walk and chew gum at the same time?
And who doesn’t keep bragging about impeachable acts?
— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) October 14, 2019
Trump made the decision to withdraw U.S. troops shortly after speaking with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by phone last Sunday.
A source from the president’s National Security Council told Newsweek last week that the president got “rolled” by Erdoğan during the call.
“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something,” the source, who spoke to Newsweek on the condition of anonymity, said. “The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line.”
A U.S. veteran who fought alongside the Kurds said Trump’s decision to pull troops out of northern Syria was an “abandonment of trust” and warned it could lead to the “wholesale slaughter” of America’s allies.
Michael Newton, an army veteran with deployment experience in Operation Provide Comfort, which defended Kurdish civilians as they fled their homes in northern Iraq in the aftermath of the Gulf War, told The Independent he disapproved of the president’s announcement.
“[The Kurds] are a people who believe in basic Democratic values and have long been oppressed from lots of quarters,” Mr Newton said. “The reason why the US has had such a strong relationship with the Kurds is because they believe in human dignity and fundamental human rights, and they’ve been oppressed many, many, many times. The only beacons of stability and peace in that region are Kurdish-controlled areas.”
As a result of Turkey’s airstrikes in Northern Syria, hundreds of ISIS affiliates and some ISIS fighters were able to escape from detention camps where they were guarded by U.S. backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Turkey has reportedly targeted and killed Kurdish forces and civilians in its offensive, as it has long seen the key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS as a foe. The Kurds have now allied themselves with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, who the U.S. views as an enemy and has bombed under Trump’s orders in the past. Assad is backed by American foes Russia and Iran.
Although Trump has suggested he will support financial sanctions against Turkey for targeting the Kurds, he has defended his withdrawal of troops as fulfilling a campaign promise to end “endless wars.” He has also repeatedly pointed out that Turkey is an important U.S. ally. The two countries are formally allied through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Trump has also bizarrely downplayed the value of the American alliance with the Kurds by pointing out the Middle Eastern ethnic group didn’t help the U.S. in the World War II battle of Normandy.
“Very smart not to be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish Border, for a change,” Trump tweeted on Sunday, doubling down on his controversial decision.