WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) today issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement regarding a Turkish military operation in Northern Syria that would put American-supported Kurdish forces near the border in harm’s way.

“The Trump Administration’s recently announced decision to withdraw U.S. military personnel from Northern Syria will harm American-backed Kurdish troops and is a catastrophic mistake. 

“The Kurds have been our strongest ally and closest partner in the fight against ISIS. The Defense Department and State Department negotiated a security mechanism in Northeast Syria that addresses Turkish security concerns and enables our partners in Syria to remain focused on ISIS. Abandoning this agreement with our partners in Northeast Syria sends the wrong signal and will only further destabilize security in Syria, while enhancing ISIS’s ability to rebuild in strength and numbers.

“Despite the Administration’s actions to the contrary, the U.S. relies on allies and partners to ensure its security at home and abroad. Abandoning the Kurds sends the message that the U.S. is an unreliable partner in the fight against terror, with our own President opening the door for our adversaries to take the lead on the global stage against us.”