Middle East/North Africa

Jeffress dismisses evangelical opposition to Trump’s Syria decision: Not one will ‘switch their vote’

First Baptist Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s staunchest evangelical allies, says he stands by Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from the border of northeastern Syria.

Jeffress told The New York Times in an interview published Thursday that he would “happily” defer to Trump’s judgement, despite bipartisan criticism that the White House is abandoning crucial Kurdish allies to be slaughtered by Turkey, which views them as terrorists.

{mosads}”Some evangelicals may disagree with the president’s decision,” Jeffress told the Times. 

“But I guarantee you there is not one evangelical supporter of the president who would switch their vote and support Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden over a Syria decision.”

Many longtime Trump supporters, evangelicals included, have publicly rebuked the president for the Syria call.

Founder of the Christian Broadcast Network Pat Robertson said he is “appalled” by Trump’s decision.

“The President of the United States is in great danger of losing the mandate of heaven if he permits this to happen,” Robertson added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s fiercest allies in Congress, said the Syria move could be “the biggest mistake of his presidency.” 

Trump’s announcement was followed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announcing Wednesday that he had initiated a military offensive into Syria to drive back Kurdish forces.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were a major factor in the defeat and containment of ISIS, which critics fear could resurface in a power vacuum.

Friday, the Pentagon called on Turkish forces to cease their attacks on the Kurds, threatening “serious consequences” if the military campaign continued. 

Tags Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren evangelicals Joe Biden Kurdish forces Lindsey Graham Pat Roberts Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Robert Jeffress Syria The New York Times Turkey

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