Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria following President Trump’s unexpected pullback of troops from the border region has reignited a fight within the Republican Party over America's role in the Middle East -- and seen the president face withering criticism from some of his otherwise staunchest allies in Congress.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday that Ankara had launched its offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria – a key U.S. ally in the battle against the Islamic State.
The news of the Turkish assault ratcheted up the criticism Trump has received from the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, which has long defended the U.S. presence in the volatile region and, in response to the troop pullback, warned that Washington is abandoning its only true ally in Syria.
USA should never have been in Middle East," Trump tweeted.
Trump’s call for ending U.S. military involvement in the Middle East and bringing the troops home was a feature of his presidential campaign, but it flies in the face of many decades of bipartisan American policy, even as the Trump administration and its immediate predecessor have tried to give additional attention to what they see as long-term security threats elsewhere, including from China and Russia.