Senators Collins and King react to Syria

A U.S. military convoy travels through the Deir ez-Zor province in Syria on November 22, 2018. (Source: U.S. Army/Matthew Crane/MGN)
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) "U.S. Senator Susan Collins issued this statement following reports that Turkey has begun a military offensive in Syria:

“On Monday, I said that President Trump's decision to abandon the Kurds, our major ally in the fight against ISIS, was terribly unwise. Today, we are seeing the consequences of that terrible decision. If the reports of Turkish strikes in Syria are accurate, I fear our allies the Kurds could be slaughtered.”"

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"The Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released the following statement from Senator King in response to the announcement that the Administration intends to withdraw U.S. military personnel from northeastern Syria:

“The world must know America will stand with those who fight valiantly alongside us; if our word is not our bond, our ability to attract allies and partners in the future will be seriously compromised,” said Senator King. “The decision to leave our Kurdish partners at the mercy of the Turks is a moral and strategic mistake that undermines America’s trustworthiness in the eyes of the global community and makes it far less likely that we will be able to enlist allies and partners in future conflicts important to our national security. If this is the way we treat those who gave up their lives in our fight against ISIS, who will heed our call the next time we need help and support? This is not America First – it is America Alone.

“Additionally, our withdrawal will create new opportunities for ISIS to regain a foothold in the region and could embolden Bashar al-Assad’s murderous regime. In both the short-term and long-term, this is a harmful mistake – for the sake of our national security, I sincerely hope the President revisits and reverses his decision.”

Senator King has strongly opposed the President’s plan to recklessly remove American military forces from Syria, and one day after the initial announcement, he joined a bipartisan group of six Senators to send a letter to the President urging him to reconsider his approach. In February, he highlighted his concerns with this approach during a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee. During the hearing, he questioned General Joseph Votel, Commander of United States Central Command; in response to King’s questions, Votel stated that he was not consulted by President Trump before the Syrian withdrawal plan was announced.""