Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria:
“The President’s abrupt decision to withdraw troops from Syria despite a number of unresolved and pressing national security matters is extremely troubling. His assessment that the Islamic State has been defeated is shockingly divorced from reality, and has been contradicted by national security professionals within his own administration. By leaving before the job is done, the President is playing games with our national security and the security of Israel, and jeopardizing the hard-won progress against the Islamic State.
“When I was last in the region, I saw first-hand the horrors the Syrian people were, and are, suffering at the hands of the Assad regime. I also saw the effects of the refugee crisis on the stability of the region and the governments of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. The United States must hold Russia and Iran accountable for their support of the Assad regime and its reprehensible crimes against the people of Syria. Withdrawing American forces as the President intends would abdicate American leadership in this troubled region, leaving Russia and Iran to assert themselves uncontested. It’s no wonder Russian President Vladimir Putin so quickly applauded President Trump’s announcement.
“Americans deserve a well-considered, strong, and strategic U.S. policy on Syria that puts national interest first, not a hurried and possibly political decision made by a President whose campaign and administration’s possible ties to Russia are still under investigation by the Department of Justice. Rather than hastily withdraw and risk creating a power vacuum, the President should work with Congress to carefully craft and pass an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that defines our purpose and role in the region.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings represents Florida’s 20th Congressional District and serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.