GOP congressman: 'We all know' Turkey wouldn't have attacked if US troops remained at border

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel Kinzinger58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign MORE (R-Ill.) on Sunday sharply criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE’s decision to remove U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, saying the 50 U.S. troops stationed at the border with Turkey would have prevented Turkish forces from advancing into the country.

“We all know that if there were still those … soldiers, Turkey wouldn’t attack,” Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Taking aim at Trump's argument that the U.S. should not be involved in endless wars in the Middle East, Kinzinger said the U.S. was "preventing an endless war and that actually commenced on Sunday a week ago.”

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“To see this yet again, leaving an ally behind, abandoning people that we told that we were going to be with is disheartening, depressing, frankly it’s weak,” Kinzinger told CBS’ Margaret Brennan. “I don’t see how it follows through on the president’s biggest promise in the campaign to defeat ISIS, because I think it’s going to resurge.”

“We now have another group that thinks it can’t rely on the United States,” he added.

Asked by Brennan whether Congress was “powerless” in the face of Trump’s decision, Kinzinger responded “we’re not powerless- the president has a lot of power, though.”

While Kinzinger discussed plans in Congress for resolutions of condemnation and sanction legislation, Brennan noted that Turkish tactics in northeastern Syria have already been described as war crimes and ethnic cleansing.

In light of this, she asked, “aren’t sanctions just punitive, they’re not preventative?”

Kinzinger agreed, adding “This has been Turkey’s dream for a long time and the president basically gave the green light to do this … when the United States backs away, chaos follows through.”