Oct 10, 2019

GOP congressman drops support for Trump over "despicable" Syria move

Shimkus at a 2017 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) told St. Louis radio station KMOX on Thursday that he no longer supports President Trump in light of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.

The big picture: Shimkus, who is not running for re-election in 2020, joins a number of Republican congressional leaders who have rebuked the president for the decision, which has left U.S.-allied Kurdish forces vulnerable to a military offensive by Turkey. No other Republican has gone as far as Shimkus in saying the decision would cause them to drop their support of Trump, however.

What he's saying: Shimkus said he told his staff "to take my name off the 'I support Donald Trump list'" and described the president's decision as "terrible and despicable," adding that he's "saddened for the Kurdish people."

Go deeper: Senators draft bipartisan sanctions bill over Turkey's assault on Kurds

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Lindsey Graham threatens Turkey with "most crippling sanctions" since Iran

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday condemned Turkey for its "outrageous assault" on U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, which followed President Trump's decision to withdraw troops from the area.

Turkey's day of reckoning is coming for their outrageous assault on Kurdish Syrians. I’m leading the effort in Congress to work with the President on the most crippling sanctions since the Iran sanctions. Turkeys misadventure in Syria, if left unchecked, will destabilize the Middle East as much as Iran -- to the detriment of the United States and our allies.
Go deeperArrowOct 13, 2019

Pelosi and Graham team up to oppose Trump's Syria decision

Photos: Zach Gibson/Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) spoke Monday to discuss bipartisan efforts to overturn President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria and sanction Turkey for its military offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces.

Why it matters: Trump's decision has sparked bipartisan backlash and accusations that he is abandoning the Kurdish allies who helped the U.S. in the fight against ISIS. Trump has voiced approval for the idea of sanctioning Turkey for its invasion, but he has stood by his decision to move U.S. troops out of the way despite the overwhelming criticism he's received from even his most loyal allies.

Go deeperArrowOct 14, 2019

Pentagon chief says U.S. troops to leave Syria for Iraq

A soldier stands guard during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in September in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha, near the border with Turkey. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Saturday night that all of the nearly 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will continue the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, from western Iraq, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: President Trump has faced scathing criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike for his 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.

Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019