Democratic hopeful Klobuchar at debate: Trump’s Syria pullout endangers Israel
search

Democratic hopeful Klobuchar at debate: Trump’s Syria pullout endangers Israel

In criticism of US troop withdrawal, candidate says America’s allies now think president is not true to country’s allies

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Amy Klobuchar during the fourth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by The New York Times and CNN at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, October 15, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Amy Klobuchar during the fourth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by The New York Times and CNN at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, October 15, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

US Senator Amy Klobuchar accused President Donald Trump of endangering Israel through his order to pull US troops out of Syria, a move that cleared the way for Turkey to invade an area of the country held by the Kurds, who are US allies.

“Think about our other allies, Israel, what do they think now — ‘Donald Trump is not true to our allies,’” Klobuchar said Tuesday at a debate for Democratic presidential candidates in the suburb of Columbus, Ohio.

Following Trump’s announcement last week, Turkey launched a broad assault on Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria, with intensive bombardment paving the way for a major ground offensive.

Other candidates also condemned Trump’s pullout, although there were particularly tense exchanges between Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who said that US troops should leave the Middle East entirely, and others — like South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former vice president Joe Biden — who said some kind of a troop presence is necessary to prevent mass killing and protect US interests.

Buttigieg called fellow former veteran Gabbard “dead wrong” for her earlier support of withdrawing troops from Syria.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)

Gabbard’s previous stance, as well as her decision to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad, has come under fresh scrutiny following Trump’s announcement.

Gabbard has criticized Trump for how he’s conducted the withdrawal but said Tuesday that while Trump has “the blood of the Kurds on his hands… so do many of the politicians in both parties who supported this regime-change war.”

Buttigieg said that the killings were “the consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said she supports removing members of the American military from the Middle East.

“I think we ought to get out of the Middle East. I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East,” shes said.

But Warren added that a withdrawal had to happen in an appropriate, thoughtful way — “certainly not like this.”

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced Turkey’s invasion of Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria and said Israel was prepared to offer humanitarian aid to the Kurds in Syria facing the onslaught from Ankara.

The comments were the first from Netanyahu on the situation in Syria after remaining silent for several days following Trump’s decision. Several other Israeli officials have denounced the Turkish operation and urged support for the Kurds.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments