Democratic presidential hopefuls denounced President Donald Trump’s decision to pull United States troops back from northern Syria, saying in an Ohio debate on Tuesday he had endangered America’s longtime Kurdish allies while empowering foes Russia and Syria.
In the first Democratic presidential debate since Trump announced the withdrawal, the 12 candidates on the stage were united in painting the Republican president as reckless and a danger to American interests around the world.
But some, including leading progressive candidate Elizabeth Warren, said if they were president they would also seek to end the United States military presence in the Middle East.
“I think that we ought to get out of the Middle East,” said Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts. “I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East.”
Warren, whose electoral platform is dominated by domestic policy fixes, did not say how she would differ from Trump in her handling of the Syria situation. But she slammed the president foreign policy approach as erratic, Reuters reported.
“He has sucked up to dictators, he has made impulsive decisions that often his own team doesn’t understand,” Warren said. “He has cut and run on our allies, and he has enriched himself at the expense of the United States of America.”
Fellow progressive Bernie Sanders, a United States senator from Vermont, criticized Trump for first signalling the withdrawal in a tweet.
“What he has done is wreck our ability to do foreign policy, to do military policy, because nobody in the world will believe this pathological liar,” he said.