House overwhelmingly condemns Trump's Syria decision
The House voted 354-60 on Wednesday on a resolution condemning President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which paved the way for Turkey to lead a military offensive against Kurdish forces who allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.
Why it matters: It's a significant bipartisan rebuke of Trump's decision, which he defended at a press conference earlier Wednesday where he said the Kurds are "not angels." The resolution calls on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cease his military operation and urges the White House to "present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS," which could see a resurgence as the U.S. plans a total withdrawal from Syria.
The big picture: AP notes that the House debate on the resolution was "extraordinary for the intensity of lawmakers’ opinions." In the Senate, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) plan to introduce a bill as early as Thursday that would introduce crippling sanctions against Turkey for its military operation.
- Trump has already authorized sanctions against some Turkish officials, but he made clear on Wednesday that he does not regret the decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria.
- "Our soldiers are not in harm's way, as they shouldn't be, as two countries fight over land that has nothing to do with us," Trump said at a press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. "And the Kurds are much safer now. The Kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they're not angels."