Democrats blast Trump's 'sham ceasefire' in Turkey

Pelosi and Schumer say Trump gave Turkish President "everything" in ceasefire agreement.

Ben Ariel ,

Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer
Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer

Top congressional Democrats on Thursday lashed out at US President Donald Trump for agreeing to drop recently announced sanctions against Turkey as part of a ceasefire agreement.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Trump "is flailing" and that he agreed not to implement sanctions against Turkey for a "sham ceasefire."

"The President’s decision to reverse sanctions against Turkey for brutally attacking our Kurdish partners in exchange for a sham ceasefire seriously undermines the credibility of America’s foreign policy and sends a dangerous message to our allies and adversaries alike that our word cannot be trusted," the two added in a joint statement quoted by The Hill.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had "given up nothing," while Trump "has given him everything," they argued.

"ISIS is still a threat, certainly now more than before President Trump gave Erdogan the green light to invade Syria," said Pelosi and Schumer.

"The only beneficiaries of the President’s policies are our adversaries: ISIS, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and Iran. Today’s decision further makes the argument that President Trump doesn’t see Putin as the danger he is to our country," they continued.

US Vice President Mike Pence announced earlier on Thursday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to halt Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria for 120 hours in order to allow Kurdish forces known as the YPG to evacuate.

In exchange, Trump will lift the sanctions on Turkey he imposed this week and not impose further sanctions, Pence added.

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.

Pelosi and Schumer’s condemnation of the ceasefire agreement follow their tense meeting with Trump on Wednesday, which they stormed out of after Trump allegedly insulted Pelosi and called her a “third-rate politician”.

Before the meeting, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution rebuking Trump’s decision to pull troops out from Syria.

The announcement was the latest twist in a days-long political battle between Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham denied the Democrats’ characterization of the meeting.

"The President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising. She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues. While Democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country," said Grisham.

Trump, for his part, tweeted a series of photos from the meeting, including one that he labeled "Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown."

He later wrote, “Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her “upstairs,” or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!”