Bipartisan lawmakers who visited Syrian border slam Trump's 'rash decision'

Bipartisan lawmakers who visited Syrian border slam Trump's 'rash decision'
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A bipartisan group of House lawmakers that recently visited the Syrian border said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE's "rash" decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria will "further destabilize the region."

Reps. Jason CrowJason CrowTrump set to confront his impeachment foes Democratic impeachment manager shares quote from "Harry Potter's" Dumbledore during trial Impeachment manager dismisses concerns Schiff alienated key Republican votes: 'This isn't about any one person' MORE (D-Colo.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerM ad buy praises swing-district Democrats' environmental work House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts House passes bills to gain upper hand in race to 5G MORE (D-Va.) and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way The Hill's Morning Report — Trump basks in acquittal; Dems eye recanvass in Iowa Trump holds White House 'celebration' for impeachment acquittal MORE (R-N.Y.), who all visited the Syria-Jordan border as part of a congressional delegation in recent days, urged the Trump administration to reconsider the move announced late Sunday.


“Not only will this decision further destabilize the region, it will make it more difficult for the United States to recruit allies and partners to defeat terrorist groups like ISIS,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “We call on the Administration to work with the same U.S. leaders, diplomats, and intelligence officials we met with this past week to understand the grave consequences of this rash decision and to develop a long-term strategy for countering the terrorist threat in Syria.”

The lawmakers said that during their trip, which included stops in Afghanistan and Turkey, they discussed counterterrorism efforts and the threats posed by terrorist groups like ISIS.

“Over and over again, we heard from U.S. and foreign leaders of the danger posed to the United States and our allies if Turkish forces moved into northern Syria, an area protected by our Kurdish allies, the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF),” they said. “The SDF has been our primary ally on the ground in the fight against ISIS, fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. forces and now guarding 11,000 battle-hardened ISIS fighters. At the same time, Turkey views these Kurdish soldiers as a risk to their security priorities.”

The lawmakers argued that Kurdish soldiers are the "first line of defense in maintaining the gains we have made against ISIS,” adding that if Turkey moves forward with its plans to implement military action, “there is a grave risk that the ISIS fighters they guard will escape and return to the battlefield.”

The White House announcement on Sunday night sparked swift criticism from Democrats and Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chair Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed Liz Cheney blasts NYT for publishing op-ed by Taliban leader Minnesota congressman diagnosed with cancer MORE (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Barr to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria MORE (R-S.C.).

Trump defend his decision on Twitter and threatened to “obliterate the Economy of Turkey” if they take military action against U.S. allies.

"As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)," he tweeted.