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October 17, 2019 | In The News

Buchanan splits with Trump on Syria; Steube backs president

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan joined in a bipartisan rebuke to President Donald Trump this week over his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria.

Shortly after Trump’s decision, Turkey attacked Kurdish forces in Syria that had been allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

“Congress needed to send a message to Turkey’s president Erdogan that he made a huge mistake by attacking the Kurds, our allies in the fight against ISIS,” Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, said in a statement. “President Trump was right to impose economic sanctions against Turkey and demand an immediate end to its military offensive.”

Trump’s troop withdrawal has been heavily criticized by leaders in both parties. The House voted 354 to 60 in favor of House Joint Resolution 77 declaring that “an abrupt withdrawal of United States military personnel from certain parts of Northeast Syria is beneficial to adversaries of the United States government, including Syria, Iran, and Russia.”

But while many Republicans have criticized the president over Syria, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, said Trump made the right decision. Steube opposed H.J.R. 77.

“I voted against H. Res. 77 because I share President Trump’s goal of ending the endless wars in the Middle East,” Steube said in a statement. “As a veteran who served in Iraq, I understand the cost of war. Our brave warriors completed the mission in Syria of defeating ISIS and bringing down the caliphate. Now, it is time for us to bring our brothers and sisters in arms home and let those in the region deal with their ongoing security.”