Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Thursday ripped US President Donald Trump over the ceasefire reached in Syria, while calling his decision to withdraw troops “a bloodstain in the annals of American history.”
“The announcement today is being portrayed as a victory. It is far from a victory. Serious questions remain about how the decision was reached precipitously to withdraw from Syria and why that decision was reached,” Romney said, according to The Hill.
US Vice President Mike Pence announced earlier on Thursday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to halt Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria for 120 hours in order to allow Kurdish forces known as the YPG to evacuate.
In exchange, Trump will lift the sanctions on Turkey he imposed this week and not impose further sanctions, Pence added.
Romney said the administration needs to explain what the US role will be moving forward, adding that the ceasefire does not change that the United States “abandoned” the Kurds.
“Adding insult to dishonor, the administration speaks cavalierly, even flippantly, even as our ally has suffered death and casualty,” Romney said. “We once abandoned a red line. Now we abandon an ally.”
“The decision to abandon the Kurds violates one of our most sacred duties. It strikes at American honor. What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history,” Romney continued.
Turkish soldiers last Wednesday launched a cross-border assault against Kurdish fighters Turkey sees as terrorists.
The operation was launched three days after Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of US forces in northeastern Syria, leading to some accusations that Trump’s move was an authorization for Turkey to invade the region.
Lawmakers from both parties have been critical of Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Syria. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution rebuking Trump’s decision to pull troops out from Syria.
Last week, 29 House Republicans announced legislation to impose sanctions against Turkey in the wake of its assault on Kurdish forces in Syria.
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