Sarbanes Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw U.S. Forces from Northern Syria

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) released the following statement today in response to President Donald J. Trump’s decision to abruptly withdraw American forces from northern Syria, opening the door for Turkey to launch a military offensive against the region’s Kurdish population:

“President Trump’s breathtakingly reckless decision to withdraw American forces from northern Syria is a jarring betrayal of our Kurdish partners and a dangerous capitulation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – an authoritarian strongman who has demonstrated time and again his contempt for American values. The effect will be to severely weaken America’s leadership by signaling to our allies in other parts of the world that the United States cannot be counted on to keep our promises.

“Turkey is now embarked on a violent incursion into an already scarred and unstable region, threatening the lives of millions of Kurds and Syrian refugees. President Trump must reverse course and urge President Erdogan to cease his military offensive.

“In Congress, I will work with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to levy sanctions on Turkey and apply stiff pressure on the Erdogan regime to end its military offensive in northern Syria.”