Smucker blasts Trump's decision to pull out of Syria in tweetstorm
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, on Thursday joined a growing number of Republicans rebuking President Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria.
Smucker on Thursday, Oct. 10, tweeted that Trump's decision to withdraw troops from the embattled northern region of Syria needs to be reversed, as it could erase progress U.S. troops have made in the region to combat ISIS and has exposed U.S. Kurdish allies to a Turkish assault.
"The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria, and we should not be turning our backs on them," Smucker wrote. "President Trump should immediately reverse his decision."
Fierce fighting has broken out as Turkish forces continued the offensive in northern Syria, The Associated Press reported Thursday afternoon. Tens of thousands of refugees are attempting to flee the combat zone, according to the United Nations, and humanitarian aid agencies have warned that a half-million people are at risk.
Several of Trump's Republican allies in Congress have harshly criticized the president's decision to pull out of Syria. Among them is Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a prominent Trump supporter.
"ISIS will return and Assad/Iran will grow stronger to the detriment of the US, Israel, and the world," Graham tweeted Thursday.
Senate Republicans have backed legislation introduced Wednesday aiming to hit Turkey with sanctions for the attacks.
Just days after Trump's Sunday announcement, Turkey launched a military offensive into the northern, Kurdish-controlled region of Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was to "prevent the creation of terror across our southern border."
While Trump has tweeted that if Turkey does anything he considers off-limits he would "totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey," the nation's military forces haven't backed down and continue to bomb the region. Kurdish forces have also retaliated with bombings.
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, has stuck by the president's decision, although he said Wednesdsay during an appearance on CBS 21 that he "didn't like" the appearance that the U.S. is abandoning an ally.
"We have a very small force in the middle of these two huge armies and countries; we have 1,000 soldiers or something to that effect," Perry said. "The president has the opportunity and option to say, 'Do we stay here in the middle of this firefight and have Americans killed, or do we have to make a move now?'"
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.