On Thursday, Congress voted to condemn Trump’s withdrawal from Syria. The bipartisan resolution was a rare rebuke against the president by Republicans, almost two-thirds of which voted alongside Democrats.
Without any legislation attached, the resolution condemned the Trump administration’s withdrawal from Syria, a sudden move that gave free passage for a right-wing led Turkey to become the new occupying force in a region with Kurds, a population Turkey has historically oppressed, displaced and killed.
Rep. Chip Roy, one of the few remaining Republicans in Austin, sheepishly voted “present” instead of yay or nay. In a series of tweets, Roy said he believed the bill was a “political attack” against the president, but ironically, also listed some concerns over the hasty withdrawal, like the “10,000 ISIS terrorists that are at risk of being loosed [sic].”
The vote drew criticism from Wendy Davis, the congressional candidate challenging Roy for Texas’s 21st district. “While no one reasonably expects a member of Congress like Chip Roy to show the same level of courage as American troops risking their lives every day overseas, we should be able to expect at least a fraction of it,” she said in a statement.
As of Friday, the Turkish army continues to clash with US-allied Kurdish forces in Syria despite a temporary ceasefire brokered by Vice President Mike Pence. The fighting has already begun taking a toll on the region’s civilian population, which has seen heavy fighting since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. Earlier this week, as Turkey’s military operations began, reports emerged of Turkish-backed fighters executing nine civilians, including a Kurdish political leader who was shot dead in her car.
“Turkey is slaughtering the Kurdish forces that have fought and died on our behalf in the fight against ISIS,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio), the Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that originally drafted the bipartisan resolution against Trump. “In our place, Syria and Russia have quickly filled the void of American leadership. We have betrayed our allies.”
Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Image