Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“The immediate cause of this crisis was President Trump’s betrayal of our Kurdish partners, which set into motion a humanitarian crisis, a resurgence of ISIS, a strategic victory for Russia and Iran, and irreparable damage to America’s standing in the world.

“Turkey’s ‘pause’ of its onslaught in Northern Syria is a relief, but we need more details before we know whether this agreement will have a true and lasting impact. We can accept nothing less than a complete halt to Turkey’s attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces, Kurdish and Arab civilians, and other religious or ethnic minority communities. Turkish forces should also withdraw without delay. Turkey needs to reverse its invasion of northern Syria or Congress will be forced to take further action.

“As we’ve seen again and again during his administration, the President is an arsonist who later pretends to be a fireman. His actions have resulted in a loss for America, and a win for terrorists and America’s enemies. Because of the Trump decision, ISIS fighters have gone free; Russia, Iran, and Assad are emboldened; and America’s Kurdish partners have suffered horrific violence, death, and despair. That reality overshadows whatever victory lap he takes today.”

# # #