5:55 p.m. ET, October 17, 2019
Pelosi and Schumer blast decision to remove sanctions on Turkey
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, issued a statement this afternoon on President Trump’s decision to eliminate sanctions on Turkey in exchange for a ceasefire in Syria.
“President Trump is flailing. The President’s decision to reverse sanctions against Turkey for brutally attacking our Kurdish partners in exchange for a sham ceasefire seriously undermines the credibility of America’s foreign policy and sends a dangerous message to our allies and adversaries alike that our word cannot be trusted,” the lawmakers said.
Read the rest of their statement:
"President Erdogan has given up nothing, and President Trump has given him everything. The Turks have stated that ‘this is not a ceasefire,’ and made clear that they ‘will pause the operation for 120 hours in order for the terrorists to leave’ — referring to the courageous Kurdish fighters who have suffered nearly 11,000 casualties in our fight to defeat ISIS. This agreement also does nothing to stop thousands of ISIS prisoners from escaping, and shows the President’s complete lack of strategy to defeat ISIS. To say that Turkey and Syria will guard the prisoners is outrageous and puts our homeland security at risk. ISIS is still a threat, certainly now more than before President Trump gave Erdogan the green light to invade Syria.
President Trump unleashed a further escalation of chaos and insecurity in Syria that has left dozens of innocent civilians dead, displaced hundreds of thousands more and invited the resurgence of ISIS. The only beneficiaries of the President’s policies are our adversaries: ISIS, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and Iran. Today’s decision further makes the argument that President Trump doesn’t see Putin as the danger he is to our country.
Yesterday’s overwhelming bipartisan 354-60 vote in the House to oppose the President’s decision and demand a clear ISIS strategy yesterday was an important step, and the Senate should do the same immediately. Next week, the House will pass a strong, bipartisan sanctions package to work to reverse the humanitarian disaster that President Trump unleashed in Syria. Our service members, our allies and our partners all suffering from the Syrian conflict deserve smart, strong and sane leadership from Washington.”