October 15, 2019

Menendez, Young, Engel, McCaul Introduce Joint Measure Opposing Decision on Northern Syria

WASHINGTON— Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Representative Michael T. McCaul (R-Texas), the Committee’s Ranking Member, today introduced a bicameral, bipartisan measure opposing the decision to allow the Turkish military to attack America’s Syrian Kurdish partners.

The resolution calls on the White House to put forward a plan to defeat an ISIS resurgence; expresses strong support for Syrian Kurdish forces, recognizing their commitment and sacrifices in the fight against ISIS; calls on Turkey to immediately cease its disastrous military action in Northeast Syria; and calls on the U.S. to stand with Syrian Kurdish communities impacted by violence.

“I am pleased to join a bipartisan and bicameral group of colleagues today to express our alarm at Turkey's incursion into Syria and call upon the President to reverse his reckless foreign policy-making that is directly harming United States national security and contributing to an already devastating humanitarian crisis,” said Ranking Member Menendez. “This joint resolution calls for Turkey to immediately cease military operations in Northeast Syria, for the U.S. government to continue humanitarian assistance for Syrian Kurdish communities, who are facing an outsized share of harm from President's Trump's reckless decision. Critically, we also call on the White House to develop a clear plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS. While the President's foreign policy blunders continue to embolden Russia, Iran and Syria, Congress must assert our role in promoting American national security.”

“President Trump is right to examine our enduring presence in places where threats have been defeated. However, we learned from President Obama’s premature disengagement from Iraq in 2011 that if we withdraw from countries too quickly our hard fought gains on the battlefield can be quickly erased and undermine the trust and confidence of our allies. President Trump successfully defeated ISIS, and we need to make sure they remain defeated. The administration should explain this decision in greater detail, and, in light of the severity of the situation, members of Congress should take a time out from politics and stand ready to work constructively to help stabilize the region,” said Senator Young.

“President Trump’s callous and impulsive decision has set into motion a calamitous breakdown in international security in Syria, one with long-lasting consequences for the United States and the world. Congress must denounce the reckless, dangerous policy coming from the Oval Office and Turkey’s horrific incursion in Syria. History will judge all of us—and I call on my colleagues to keep that in mind and join me in defending our values and our national security. We urge Senator McConnell to put this measure up for a vote,” said Chairman Engel.

“Turkey must immediately cease their military offensive in Syria, which has already had devastating consequences for our Kurdish partners. The Kurds have worked hand-in-hand with American forces to make the world safer from terrorism, and their fighters have paid a particularly heavy price in the fight against ISIS. It’s unfortunate they are in such a vulnerable position now. In addition to calling on Turkey to immediately end their military action, this resolution reaffirms our commitment to supporting our Kurdish partners and preventing an ISIS resurgence that would threaten our homeland,” said Congressman McCaul.

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