US House votes against resolution to pull American troops out of Syria

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US House of Representatives voted Wednesday against a resolution directing the Biden administration to withdraw all US troops from Syria.

The war powers resolution was submitted by Florida Republican Matt Gaetz and was rejected in a 103-321 vote, with 47 Republicans and 56 Democrats voting “Yes.”

The bill cited section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, directing President Joe Biden to remove US armed forces from Syria within 180 days after the adoption of the resolution.

Among the Republicans who backed Gaetz’s resolution were Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Anna Paulina Luna of Florida.

In his address to the House, Gaetz questioned how Syria has become “the great platform of great power competition in the world.”

Recalling that security forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad opened fire when anti-government protests erupted in the country in 2011, he said there were “a whole lot of weapons and money being sent from the rich Gulf monarchies through Jordan into Syria.”

Accusing Iran of “activating Hezbollah” and “invading Syria,” he noted that Russia is also “pitching their vision of the world as a regime preservation force.”

He added that Israel cut “a deal with Russia to keep Iran out of southern Syria.”

“Now, all of a sudden you’ve got the Kurds who declare war on Syria, and it makes it a little messy that the Kurds are also in conflict with Turkey, which is a NATO ally,” he continued.

Adding that the US got involved in “this mess in Syria” in 2015, he said: “And since we have been there, we have seen Americans die, we have seen tens of billions of dollars wasted.”

On the fight against Daesh/ISIS, Gaetz said he would encourage his colleagues to “go read the inspector general’s report of the last quarter, which indicates that ISIS is not a threat to the homeland,” also noting that Türkiye is conducting operations against Daesh/ISIS in Syria.

“I do not believe what stands between a caliphate and not a caliphate are the 900 Americans who have been sent to this hellscape with no definition of victory, no clear objective, and purely existing as a vestige to the regime-change failed foreign policies of multiple former presidents,” he said.

Some 900 US troops are currently deployed in Syria, and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley visited northern Syria this weekend.

According to US media reports, reporters traveling with Milley asked if he believed the deployment of around 900 US troops to Syria was worth the risk.

“If you think that that’s important, then the answer is ‘Yes,’” he said.

The top US general’s visit to the region in northeastern Syria occupied by the YPG/PKK group sparked tensions between the two NATO allies with US ambassador to Türkiye Jeff Flake summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday over the visit.

By Rabia İclal Turan

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