Candidates unleash on Trump over Syria move, say he's weakening US

Candidates unleash on Trump over Syria move, say he's weakening US
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Members of the Democratic primary field unloaded on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE over his withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria, arguing the move would weaken the U.S. position in the Middle East and security interests at home.

During an exchange over the ongoing military conflict between Turkish and Kurdish forces, several candidates at Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Ohio attacked Trump for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, and called for increased humanitarian protections for Kurdish civilians fleeing the conflict.

“We have an erratic, crazy president who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy and operates out of fear for his own reelection,” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Democrats release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage MORE (D) said of Trump's Middle East policy, adding that the troop withdrawal was "the most shameful thing any president has done in modern history in terms of foreign policy."

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"The slaughter going on in Syria is not the consequence of American presence, it is the consequence of American withdrawal and betrayal," added South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Sanders reclaims second place in new 2020 poll MORE (D). "Look, I didn't think we should have gone to Iraq in the first place. I think we need to get out of Afghanistan. But it's also the case that a small number of specialized special forces and the intelligence capabilities were the only thing that stood between that part of Syria and what we're seeing now, which is the beginning of a genocide and the resurgence of ISIS."

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (D-Mass.), a critic of the Iraq War, called for a cautious withdrawal of U.S. forces and blamed Trump for a "humanitarian disaster" erupting in northern Syria.

“I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East, but we should do it in the right way," she said.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (I-Vt.), a longtime skeptic of U.S. intervention in the Middle East, was the only candidate onstage to definitively say that Turkey was no longer an ally of the United States, blaming the Turkish government for "mass slaughter" of Kurdish forces and civilians.

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Trump, he added, had “wrecked America's ability to do foreign policy" by reversing U.S. foreign policy on a whim, and refusing to protect a U.S. military ally, the Kurds.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Poll: Biden holds 20-point lead in South Carolina Fox News anchor apologizes for saying Booker dropped out of 2020 race MORE (D-N.J.) suggested that the move would strengthen Syria's Bashar Assad and Russia's Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFormer US envoy Samantha Power: Trump finding 'new ways to compensate Putin for election interference' Overnight Defense: Ex-Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic day of testimony | Talks of 'crisis' at State Department | Trump tweets criticism of envoy during hearing | Dems warn against 'witness intimidation' | Trump defends his 'freedom of speech' Highly irregular: Rudy, the president, and a venture in Ukraine MORE, and condemned the "retreat" of U.S. forces under danger from Syrian forces.

"We cannot allow the Russians to continue to grow in influence by growing on the world stage," Booker, said, adding, “This president time and time again is showing moral weakness."

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro compared what he said was the hypocrisy of Trump allowing ISIS prisoners to be freed amid chaos in northern Syria while his administration detained thousands of migrants in detention centers in the U.S.

"Think about how absurd it is that this president is caging kids on the border and effectively letting ISIS prisoners run free," Castro said. "He has made a tremendous mistake, a total disaster there in Syria. He's abandoned the very people that we gave our word to."