On Sunday, the White House issued a late-night statement saying U.S. forces in northeastern Syria would step aside for what it called an imminent Turkish invasion.
Following the announcement, President Donald Trump made the decision to remove troops from parts of Syria, blindsiding Kurdish allies the U.S. has relied on to fight ISIS.
"We want to bring our soldiers back home. These are the endless wars," Trump said earlier this week.
The choice has enraged many on both sides of the political aisle with Trump redeploying 50 U.S. troops from northern Syria shortly after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told him a long-planned assault against the Kurds would start soon.
Kurdish forces have been a vital ally in the fight against the Islamic caliphate. Without U.S. support in the region, analysts fear that Turkey will be able to take back the stronghold, leading to thousands of ISIS refugees being freed.
Trump's sudden decision to remove forces from a key border area of Syria has been criticized by both parties, with Republicans calling the move a "betrayal."
GOP leaders like Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke out against Trump's decision to pullback troops from the border region, telling "Fox & Friends" that if Trump "follows through with this, it would be the biggest mistake of his presidency."
In tweets, Graham also urged prayers for "our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration," adding, "This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS." He also said he would lead an effort in Congress to "make Erdogan pay a heavy price.”
Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS.
Trump, however, defended his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria on Wednesday, adding that the U.S. will "continue to monitor the situation closely."
"From the first day I entered the political arena, I made it clear that I did not want to fight these endless, senseless wars -- especially those that don't benefit the United States ... We expect Turkey to abide by all of its commitments, and we continue to monitor the situation closely."
With Turkey launching attacks on Kurdish militia positions, Trump continues to face intense criticism from U.S. leaders and personnel regarding America's involvement in the Middle East.
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