The attack has highlighted a rare Republican willingness to directly criticize President Donald Trump, who apparently gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the go-ahead on Sunday to proceed with his long-planned move against Kurdish fighters who make up part of the Syrian Defense Forces who had fought against ISIS with the US.
The White House announced that US troops would move out the way and would not support or be involved in the operation.
“News from Syria is sickening,” Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking Republican in the House, tweeted Wednesday, echoing lawmakers across the spectrum. “Turkish troops preparing to invade Syria from the north, Russian-backed forces from the south, ISIS fighters attacking Raqqa. Impossible to understand why @realDonaldTrump is leaving America’s allies to be slaughtered and enabling the return of ISIS.”
“With humanitarian groups reporting the bombardment could displace as many as 300,000 people, Erdogan’s top adviser told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that [t]rump knew in advance about the scope of the Turkish attack.
…”’[t]rump and President Erdogan have reached an understanding over precisely what this operation is,’ Gulnur Aybet said from Ankara on Wednesday. ‘He knows what the scope of this operation is.’“