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Nikki Haley criticizes Trump's Syria withdrawal: Leaving allies to die 'is a big mistake'

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyTrump critics push new direction for GOP Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee DNC gathers opposition research on over 20 potential GOP presidential candidates MORE on Monday ripped President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and allow Turkey to carry out an operation in the region, warning it will damage America's standing with its allies.

"We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back," Haley tweeted. "The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. #TurkeyIsNotOurFriend."

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The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey will soon be launching a military operation in northern Syria and that U.S. troops will no longer be “in the immediate area” when it happens. The U.S. had more than 1,000 troops deployed in northern Syria, working closely with the Kurdish-led forces. 

Multiple press reports early Monday indicated that U.S. troops had already started their withdrawal. Republican lawmakers have lined up to criticize the decision, warning that it will lead to the slaughter of Kurdish allies and lay the foundation for a resurgence of ISIS.

Despite the backlash, Trump doubled down on his decision Monday in a series of tweets in which he said it is time to remove the U.S. from "ridiculous endless wars."

Haley served as ambassador to the United Nations from the beginning of the Trump administration until the end of 2018. During her tenure, she advocated for an involved U.S. policy in Syria, speaking out against the Assad government in response to its violence against civilians.

The former South Carolina governor is widely considered a future Republican candidate for higher office. She has occasionally criticized Trump since leaving the administration on matters of policy and rhetoric.