Reaction to U.S. President Trump’s decision with withdrawing troops from Northern Syria got even more heated in Washington Wednesday.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to condemn the pullback and criticized the president of abandoning Kurdish allies who had spearheaded the fight against Islamic militants ISIS.
Congressional leaders then had a testy meeting at the White House. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House left the meeting and accused the President of having a meltdown. She and others had been highly critical of Trumps move as well of the lack of plans to stop the resurgence of ISIS.
As the meeting was still going on when a letter from Trump to Turkish President Erdogan, dated October 9th was released to the media. In the letter, Trump asks Turkey not to invade Northern Syria but the language used will raise even more questions about his conduct.
Using the words fool and tough guy the letter threatens to destroy Turkey’s economy.
Trump is not backing down. At an earlier Press conference played down the size of the pullout and criticized the Kurds saying
“Our soldiers are mostly gone from the area. I think it’s probably 28, but under 50 soldiers, and, which is a very tiny force. And it (Erdogan) didn’t surprise me at all. They’ve been warring for many years. It’s unnatural for us but it’s sort of natural for them. They fight…..Syria also has a relationship with the Kurds, who, by the way are, no angels, ok ”
Standing next to Sergio Mattarella, the Italian President who criticized Turkey’s incursion into Syria, Trump said he was happy to leave the Syrian mess to the Russians adding
“Syria may have some help with Russia and that’s fine. It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there. So, there’s a lot of sand that they can play with.”
All this drama occurred as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo boarded planes for Ankara in a bid to try and negotiate a ceasefire. Their job just got a lot harder.