Former national security adviser Susan Rice on Monday panned President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House says Turkey will soon launch Syria operation Trump associates pressured Ukraine over gas firm in order to benefit allies: report Trump praises Woodward, slams other journalists over ‘Face the Nation’ segment MORE‘s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria ahead of a planned Turkish invasion as “batshit crazy.”
“It seems like six days a week I just put my head in my hands,” Rice said on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertHillary and Chelsea Clinton propel Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ to record high Monday rating Maddow on going to dinner with rivals Hannity, Cuomo: ‘I doubt they eat the same things’ Hillary Clinton responds to Giuliani’s claim she is ‘protected and immune’ MORE,” stressing the significance of the president’s abrupt move and how it will impact Kurdish-led forces working closely with the U.S. military.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) October 8, 2019
The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey would soon launch an offensive in northern Syria and that U.S. troops would not be in the “immediate area” when it happens. More than 1,000 U.S. forces are currently deployed in Syria, where they work closely with the Kurdish YPG, which leads the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Turkey considers the Kurdish-led forces, which have proved to be the U.S.’s most effective allies in its fight against ISIS, to be a terrorist insurgency.
“These are the people who for the last four years have been fighting on our behalf, with our equipment to defeat ISIS, and they have done it with enormous efficacy, and they’ve sacrificed immensely, and we basically just said to them, ‘See ya,'” the former Obama administration official said. “And let the Turks, who are like the hungry wolf trying to kill the lamb, go for it.”
“It’s just appalling because we promised the Kurds our partnership, and we promised them that if they worked with us to defeat our common enemy, then we would stand with them,” she added. “And Trump woke up on the wrong side of the bed it appears and decided never mind, which is why suddenly Republicans in Congress have gotten a pulse today.”
The move from Trump showcased a clear split between the White House and some of the president’s most outspoken supporters in the GOP. Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham vows to publicly question whistleblowers if Trump is impeached Key Republicans split with Trump on Biden investigation push GOP searches for impeachment boogeyman MORE (R-S.C.) called the decision a “disaster in the making.”
Trump repeatedly defended his decision on Monday, saying that it is time to remove the United States from “ridiculous endless wars.”
“We’ve been there for many, many, many years beyond what we were supposed to be. Not fighting. Just there. Just there. And it’s time to come back home,” Trump said while speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
also threatened to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it acts in a way he believes is inappropriate.