House to vote on resolution condemning Syria withdrawal

Vote on resolution condemning President Donald Trump's decision to pull back troops in northern Syria likely to take place on Wednesday.

Elad Benari,

US Capitol
US Capitol

The House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump's decision to pull back troops in northern Syria, The Hill reported on Tuesday.

A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) confirmed that the joint resolution formally opposing Trump's strategy will be on the House floor on Wednesday.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) urged Republicans to support the resolution ahead of the vote.

“The chaos and insecurity unleashed in Syria by President Trump’s disastrous decision to precipitously withdraw from northern Syria require strong, smart leadership from Congress," Pelosi and Schumer said.

"With one voice, we call on President Trump to support Kurdish communities, to work to ensure that the Turkish military acts with restraint, and to present a clear strategy to defeat ISIS. This resolution also urges President Erdogan to immediately cease unilateral military action in Syria," they added.

The resolution — sponsored by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) in the House and Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NY) and Todd Young (R-IN) in the Senate — "opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria."

It also calls on Turkey to end its military action, calls on the United States to protect the Kurds and calls on the White House "to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS."

Turkish soldiers last Wednesday launched a cross-border assault against Kurdish fighters Turkey sees as terrorists.

The operation was launched three days after Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of US forces in northeastern Syria, leading to some accusations that Trump’s move was an authorization for Turkey to invade the region.

While Trump defended his administration’s plans to withdraw US forces from northern Syria, he also made clear that the US would not allow Turkey to do anything inhumane in Syria.

On Monday, the White House announced that Trump will sign an executive order imposing sanctions on Turkey over its invasion of northern Syria.

Last week, 29 Republicans in the House of Representatives announced they would introduce legislation to impose sanctions against Turkey in the wake of its assault on Kurdish forces in Syria.

The House vote comes as lawmakers are weighing how to respond to president Trump's decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, paving the way for Turkey's military invasion.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) are expected to introduce the sanctions legislation on Thursday, according to The Hill.

Graham is one of the more vocal opponents of Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw troops from Syria, warning such a move would be a “nightmare for Israel”. Last week, he threatened Turkey with devastating sanctions if it launches an operation in northern Syria.