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house Bill H. Joint Res. 77

Should Congress Oppose the U.S. Withdrawal from NE Syria & Call on Turkey to Stop Attacking the Syrian Kurds?

Argument in favor

By withdrawing U.S. troops who were helping the Syrian Kurds fight ISIS, the Trump administration has risked a resurgence of the terror group in the region and put Kurdish allies in jeopardy of being overwhelmed by the Turkish military. Congress should express its opposition to the withdrawal.

jimK's Opinion
···
10/16/2019
Yes, but irreversible damage has already been done and anything we do needs to be very carefully planned and executed. The Syrian Kurds have already aligned themselves with Assad and the Russians and our governments support of them now is appropriate but just seems to be kind of a hollow gesture given the damages already done to them. The Russians were obviously waiting for trump's troop withdrawal; their forces were in place almost the day after trump pulled the last 1000 troops out. It is hard to imagine the Russians deploying that quickly and already occupying hastily abandoned US bases without prior planning. I think that just putting our troops back into Syria without careful forethought puts them and our country at risk. It should be done, but very carefully coordinated. I am concerned about the dozens of nukes at the US airbase in Turkey which need to be protected and secured. I think our role needs to be additionally focused on working with other NATO allies to actually threaten Turkey's membership unless they come to an acceptable resolution which recognizes and protects a Syrian Kurdish territory and sovereignty along with a Kurdish agreement to stay out of Turkey. That is how we can help the Kurds, our former allies. We should keep a force in place for a while until things settle out just to bring the feeling of honor back to the troops who felt that abandoning an ally to be slaughtered was such a dishonorable thing to do.
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Lucas's Opinion
···
10/16/2019
We claim to be for freedom everywhere but then leave our friends and allies out to dry when they need us the most? We should never have left. Nature abhors a vacuum and so does power, I’m not sure why anyone thinks that once were gone stability will reign in the region
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Jennifer's Opinion
···
10/16/2019
By withdrawing U.S. troops who were helping the Syrian Kurds fight ISIS, the Trump administration has risked a resurgence of the terror group in the region and put Kurdish allies in jeopardy of being overwhelmed by the Turkish military. Congress should express its opposition to the withdrawal.
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Argument opposed

The risks and costs associated with keeping U.S. troops in Northeast Syria as fighting breaks out between Turkey, a NATO ally, and the Syrian Kurds who helped with the defeat of ISIS outweigh any potential benefits. It was right to withdraw the troops out of harm’s way.

Robert's Opinion
···
10/16/2019
As usual, when Obama wanted to pull the troops out the Democrats were all for it!! Now that the president wants to the Democrats want to do everything in their power to leave the troops there. You can’t have it both ways, figure out what side of your mouth you are talking from!
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Gregory's Opinion
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10/16/2019
Time to do something different. We have the same people doing the same thing for years now. We need to bring our soldiers home. Protect our boarders and our country and our people.
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Steve's Opinion
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10/16/2019
Let countries fight there own battles. If they bring the war to us again I say drop the big one on them and turn there country into a dust ball. Stop fighting other countries wars. Protect the homeland and build the wall. Stop the global economy and grow American manufacturing.
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joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed October 16th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 354 Yea / 60 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedOctober 15th, 2019

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What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 77?

This resolution would oppose the decision to end certain U.S. efforts to prevent military operations by Turkey against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria. It would call on Turkish President Erdogan to immediately cease unilateral military action in the area and to respect existing agreements related to Syria. Additionally, it would call for the U.S. to continue providing humanitarian support to Syrian Kurdish communities, and to work to ensure the Turkish military acts with restraint and respects agreements related to Syria. The bill would also require the White House to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS.

As a joint resolution, this legislation would have the force of law if passed by both chambers and signed into law by the president.

Impact

Congress; the president and executive branch agencies; U.S. policy in Syria and its relations with Turkey and other regional actors; and the Syrian Kurds.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 77

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: This legislation was drafted in a bipartisan, bicameral bid to express opposition to the Trump administration’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Northeast Syria who were deterring Turkey from launching a military incursion to target America’s Kurdish allies. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said the following upon its introduction:

“President Trump’s callous and impulsive decision has set into motion a calamitous breakdown in international security in Syria, one with long-lasting consequences for the United States and the world. Congress must denounce the reckless, dangerous policy coming from the Oval Office and Turkey’s horrific incursion in Syria. History will judge all of us—and I call on my colleagues to keep that in mind and join me in defending our values and our national security. We urge Senator McConnell to put this measure up for a vote.”

Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX) added:

“Turkey must immediately cease their military offensive in Syria, which has already had devastating consequences for our Kurdish partners. The Kurds have worked hand-in-hand with American forces to make the world safer from terrorism, and their fighters have paid a particularly heavy price in the fight against ISIS. It’s unfortunate they are in such a vulnerable position now. In addition to calling on Turkey to immediately end their military action, this resolution reaffirms our commitment to supporting our Kurdish partners and preventing an ISIS resurgence that would threaten our homeland.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ) added:

“This joint resolution calls for Turkey to immediately cease military operations in Northeast Syria, for the U.S. government to continue humanitarian assistance for Syrian Kurdish communities, who are facing an outsized share of harm from President's Trump's reckless decision. Critically, we also call on the White House to develop a clear plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS. While the President's foreign policy blunders continue to embolden Russia, Iran and Syria, Congress must assert our role in promoting American national security.”

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), an original cosponsor of this bill’s Senate companion, added:

“President Trump is right to examine our enduring presence in places where threats have been defeated. However, we learned from President Obama’s premature disengagement from Iraq in 2011 that if we withdraw from countries too quickly our hard fought gains on the battlefield can be quickly erased and undermine the trust and confidence of our allies. President Trump successfully defeated ISIS, and we need to make sure they remain defeated. The administration should explain this decision in greater detail, and, in light of the severity of the situation, members of Congress should take a time out from politics and stand ready to work constructively to help stabilize the region.”

Since he announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Northeast Syria, President Donald Trump has said that he will impose severe economic sanctions on Turkey unless it stops its military offensive against the Syrian Kurds. In a press conference with the president of Italy, Trump explained the U.S. withdrawal and America’s role in the conflict going forward:

“[O]ur soldiers are not in harm’s way, as they shouldn’t be as two countries fight over land that has nothing to with us. And the Kurds are much safer right now, but the Kurds know how to fight. And I said, they’re not angels. They’re not angels, take a look. But they fought with us, and we paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us, and they didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us… Syria is protecting the Kurds -- that’s good... We’re trying to get Turkey to do the right thing. We want to get wars stopped…If Russia wants to get involved in Syria, it’s up to them… We are not a policing agent. It is time for us to go home.”

In addition to the upcoming economic sanctions on Turkey, President Trump dispatched Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Turkey where they will meet with Turkish President Erdogan and personally ask him to stop the incursion into Syria. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will meet with other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies next week to discuss sanctions on Turkey, a fellow NATO member.

This legislation has the support of 10 bipartisan cosponsors, including eight Democrats and two Republicans.


Of Note: Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeast Syria last week, Turkey’s military operation has targeted Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), who form the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and have been assisted by American troops in anti-ISIS counterterrorism operations. 

Turkey-backed militant groups in Syria, including the Free Syrian Army, have been accused of committing atrocities against Kurdish civilians and prisoners since the operation began, including the execution of a 35-year old female Kurdish politician. Without U.S. support, the SDF struck a deal with the Assad regime (which is supported by Russia) to fight against the Turkish military and their proxies.

The Turkish-backed forces have also reportedly released ISIS prisoners that had been held by the Kurds, which would be contrary to an earlier suggestion by President Trump that the Kurds may have been releasing them. There are roughly 11,000 ISIS fighters (of whom 2,000 are foreign fighters from outside Syria and Iraq) detained at more than two dozen facilities by the primarily Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces in the area. There is also a camp for more than 60,000 displaced persons that is serving as home to many ISIS families. The Dept. of Defense (DOD) warned in an inspector general report earlier this year that the SDF lack the capacity to continue to detain that many fighters and security conditions are a threat.

Turkey has previously threatened to enter Northern Syria to create a buffer zone by driving Kurdish groups it views as aligned with a separatist terror group away from its border, and because it can be difficult to track the various Kurdish militia groups involved here’s a brief rundown: 

  • The People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) are the primary component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls much of northern and eastern Syria. They have been the primary ground unit responsible for eliminating ISIS strongholds in those areas at a cost of over 10,000 SDF fighters, and have received assistance from the U.S. and Western governments in the form of equipment, air support, and special forces on the ground (as pictured). Turkey views them as sympathetic to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

  • The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a militant and political group based in Turkey and Iraq that has been in near continuous armed conflict with the Turkish government since 1984. It has advocated in the past for an independent Kurdistan, as the Kurdish people reside in parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Armenia. The PKK fought against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S., the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and European Union.

  • The Peshmerga are the military of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq and fought against ISIS in Iraq, as Iraqi law prohibits the Iraqi military from entering the region. It has received support from the U.S. and Western allies.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army - Staff Sgt. Timothy R. Koster / Public Domain)

AKA

Opposing the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria.

Official Title

Opposing the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria.

    Yes, but irreversible damage has already been done and anything we do needs to be very carefully planned and executed. The Syrian Kurds have already aligned themselves with Assad and the Russians and our governments support of them now is appropriate but just seems to be kind of a hollow gesture given the damages already done to them. The Russians were obviously waiting for trump's troop withdrawal; their forces were in place almost the day after trump pulled the last 1000 troops out. It is hard to imagine the Russians deploying that quickly and already occupying hastily abandoned US bases without prior planning. I think that just putting our troops back into Syria without careful forethought puts them and our country at risk. It should be done, but very carefully coordinated. I am concerned about the dozens of nukes at the US airbase in Turkey which need to be protected and secured. I think our role needs to be additionally focused on working with other NATO allies to actually threaten Turkey's membership unless they come to an acceptable resolution which recognizes and protects a Syrian Kurdish territory and sovereignty along with a Kurdish agreement to stay out of Turkey. That is how we can help the Kurds, our former allies. We should keep a force in place for a while until things settle out just to bring the feeling of honor back to the troops who felt that abandoning an ally to be slaughtered was such a dishonorable thing to do.
    Like (149)
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    As usual, when Obama wanted to pull the troops out the Democrats were all for it!! Now that the president wants to the Democrats want to do everything in their power to leave the troops there. You can’t have it both ways, figure out what side of your mouth you are talking from!
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    We claim to be for freedom everywhere but then leave our friends and allies out to dry when they need us the most? We should never have left. Nature abhors a vacuum and so does power, I’m not sure why anyone thinks that once were gone stability will reign in the region
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    By withdrawing U.S. troops who were helping the Syrian Kurds fight ISIS, the Trump administration has risked a resurgence of the terror group in the region and put Kurdish allies in jeopardy of being overwhelmed by the Turkish military. Congress should express its opposition to the withdrawal.
    Like (61)
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    Trust, broken in a minute, will take a lifetime to restore. Trump betrayed our ally and dishonored our servicemen. Moreover, the values of freedom, security, independence, sacrifice and survival have been overturned by his impetuous ill advised evil act to abandon the Kurds to genocide. Trump is not America, and his actions are UN-American. We have lost credibility in the world's view.
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    This is genocide plain and simple. Turkey should be kicked out of NATO and we need to be protecting our soldiers and the Kurds. this is crimes against humanity not to mention the escape of ISIS because the Kurds have been betrayed and are running for their lives.
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    Do the right thing for once in your pathetic lives!
    Like (31)
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    Another sell out to Putin.
    Like (29)
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    Yes. The US should not have left in the first place. This was another thing that Individual-1 did to help the Russians. He is a Traitor. Impeach him immediately.
    Like (27)
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    Time to do something different. We have the same people doing the same thing for years now. We need to bring our soldiers home. Protect our boarders and our country and our people.
    Like (26)
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    F*UCKING Trump did this FOR Putin!! It’s a gift on Putin’s birthday!! The USA will be on its own from now on!!!! TRUMP ALONE did THIS!! All you morons in favor for Trump....your as bad as him! Trump people have NO SOLE & are the most ignorant.
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    I support getting out of wars in the Middle East, but this was haphazard and foolish. We need to plan the withdraw carefully and ensure others will help to stabilize Syria once we're gone, otherwise we just open a vacuum in which ISIS can reform itself. The other factors that led to ISIS, Assad and a weak government in Iraq, still exist, so nothing has changed to prevent their resurgence. Also, are we really that concerned with costs of being there when we're diverting millions of military funding to a border wall?
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    Hard to push toothpaste back in the tube. Congress should censure Mr Trump and add this to the impeachment toll.
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    ABSOLUTELY!
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    He created these problems: Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas. Look them up. North Korea just tested a submarine launched missile. He just released 10,000 Isis fighters into the world when he betrayed the Kurds. Our allies who have fought against Isis right beside our troops for years. They are being slaughtered right now. All because he has a tower in Istanbul. “The Americans betrayed us. We do not trust them anymore,” she added. These used to be our Kurdish allies that stood against ISIS. He is refusing to comply with the law. He is using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. He is acting like a criminal and threatening the life of the whistleblower. Mr. America first is sending troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. He is blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. He has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. He invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. He is a #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. He has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. He took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. He has privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. He is pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. He took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. He thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. He is pushing to host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. He taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. He was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. This year the richest of us payed less in taxes than the rest of us. He is destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). He made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. He bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. He is refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. He is attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. He thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. He has: Obstructed Justice. Is profiting from the Presidency. Colluded - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocated political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    Congress needs to stop the “Idiot” from distorting every alliance we have ever had around the world. He is committing genocide. This cannot be acceptable
    Like (12)
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    Let countries fight there own battles. If they bring the war to us again I say drop the big one on them and turn there country into a dust ball. Stop fighting other countries wars. Protect the homeland and build the wall. Stop the global economy and grow American manufacturing.
    Like (11)
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    Absolutely. You don’t just pick up your toys and go home in the real world. What we’re doing now is a travesty and will have long lasting consequences.
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    This is ridiculous and standing by the president just because he’s president isn’t good enough. Kurds are dying because of your inaction. Your job is to represent us and you keep failing at that. Do your job.
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    The few hundred American soldiers will not make any difference in this fight!!!
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