Oct 23, 2019

Sen. Rand Paul: Kurds "should be thanking us" for Syria exit

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called Kurdish forces "ingrates" on Wednesday for heaving potatoes and rotten vegetables at U.S. troops withdrawing from northern Syria, ABC News reports.

The big picture: Some of the most powerful Republicans in Congress have denounced President Trump's decision to pull troops from Syria in preparation for Turkey's military offensive into the region, saying it could undo years of fighting ISIS and expose U.S.-allied Kurds to violence.

What they're saying: Paul said on Wednesday that the Kurds "should be thanking us and throwing rose petals," and that the U.S. "saved the Kurds from being beheaded and massacred by ISIS."

  • Last week, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said, "What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a blood stain in the annals of American history."

Where it stands: Trump announced on Wednesday that the U.S. would lift all sanctions against Turkey in response to Turkey's planned permanent ceasefire.

Go deeper: Trump on Syria's Kurds: "They're not angels"

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Cornyn defends Trump despite Turkey's intent of ethnic cleansing

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Shortly after President Trump announced Wednesday he will lift sanctions against Turkey, Texas Sen. John Cornyn told reporters that withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria was warranted due to their safety and Turkey's intent on ethnic cleaning of the Kurds, the Dallas Morning News reports.

“If Turkey was planning on coming into northern Syria and trying to ethnically cleanse the Kurds, and U.S. troops were caught in the middle, I am not completely convinced that it was a bad idea to get them out of harm’s way."
Go deeperArrowOct 24, 2019

Trump declares victory in Syria, lifts sanctions on Turkey

President Trump gave a triumphant statement from the White House on Wednesday, claiming despite widespread criticism that while his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria led to a "short-term outburst," it resulted in a "great outcome."

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

Scoop: Erdogan upends Oval meeting to play anti-Kurd film on iPad

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at a press conference with President Donald Trump. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

An Oval Office meeting yesterday with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a dark turn when Erdoğan pulled out his iPad and made the group watch a propaganda video that depicted the leader of the primarily-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces as a terrorist, according to three sources familiar with the meeting.

Why it matters: The meeting hosted by President Trump included five Republican U.S. senators who've been among the most vocal critics of Turkey's recent invasion of Syria and attacks on the U.S.'s Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019