Tyrkiske panservogner og amerikanske gjør seg klare til den andre omgangen av patruljering langs grensen mellom Tyrkia og Syria. Foto: Muslum Etgu / Anadolu Agency/Scanpix
Trumps kunngjøring om at amerikanerne overlater det nordlige Syria til tyrkerne, har støtt på kraftig motstand og State Department og Pentagon signaliserer at de er motstandere.
Hours after the White House announcement, two senior State Department officials minimized the effects of the U.S. action, telling reporters that only about two dozen American troops would be removed from the Turkey-Syria border, not all the U.S. forces in the northeast of the country. They also said Turkey may not go through with a large-scale invasion and the U.S. was still trying to discourage it.
Den samme ett skritt frem – to tilbake-politikken skjedde i desember, da Trump overraskende forkynte full tilbaketrekning. Det utløste sterk kritikk, Trump nølte og trakk seg tilbake og overlot scenen til de militære som ikke ville ha noen forandring.
Det samme ser ut til å skje nå.
Trump forsvarte sin beslutning, men på en tullete måte.
Trump defended his decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”
“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.
If the Turks go too far, he tweeted later, “I in my great and unmatched wisdom” will destroy their economy.
En amerikansk tjenestemann sier derimot at amerikanerne er på vei ut av området.
A U.S. official confirmed that American troops were already moving out of the security zone area, which includes the Syrian towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad. That official was not authorized to speak for the record and was granted anonymity to comment.
Men Kongressen lar ikke en slik reversering skje uten motstand. Trump har ikke råd til å legge seg ut med senator Lindsey Graham, og han lover å kjempe med nebb og klør mot det nye initiativet.
Republican Sen. Graham of South Carolina said he would call for Turkey’s suspension from NATO and introduce sanctions against Ankara if the Turks attack Kurdish forces.
“This decision to abandon our Kurdish allies and turn Syria over to Russia, Iran, & Turkey will put every radical Islamist on steroids. Shot in the arm to the bad guys. Devastating for the good guys,” Graham wrote in a tweet.
Trump’s move appeared to take even his closest allies by surprise during a pivotal moment of his presidency. House Democrats are marching forward with their impeachment inquiry into whether he compromised national security or abused his office by seeking negative information on former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, from foreign countries.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., did say Monday in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” that he had been briefed by the president about the decision. But he also said he had concerns.
“I want to make sure we keep our word for those who fight with us and help us,” he said, adding that, “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”
Både Graham og McCarthy har stått last og brast med Trump i riksrettssaken. Det er tvilsomt om han har råd til å ofre deres vennskap selv om det ikke finnes noen automatikk i at uenighet på ett område får konsekvenser for andre saksfelt.