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House Makes Its Thoughts on Troop Withdrawal Known

It voted its bipartisan condemnation of Trump's move 354-60
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 16, 2019 2:49 PM CDT
President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – The House has overwhelmingly voted its bipartisan condemnation of President Trump's withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria. Despite stark divisions over Democrats' Trump impeachment inquiry, Democrats and Republicans banded together Wednesday and approved a nonbinding resolution by 354-60 vote, reports the AP. The resolution states Congress' opposition to the troop pullback and says Turkey should cease its military action in Syria. The House debate was extraordinary for the intensity of lawmakers' opinions. Republicans called the troop withdrawal "disastrous" and a "catastrophe." Democrats criticized Trump directly, with Rep. Seth Moulton saying Trump "has taken the side of dictators and butchers."

The House measure also says the White House should present a plan for an "enduring defeat" of ISIS amid worries it may revive itself as Turkish forces attack Syrian Kurds holding the extremists. This as Trump on Wednesday alleged some ISIS members who were being held in prisons by Kurdish fighters have been deliberately released in an effort to make him look bad. But senior US officials are casting doubt on those claims. Those officials say some Syrian Kurdish forces have moved north to fight Turkish troops but others have stayed to guard the detention centers. The officials say the US doesn't have good on-the-ground information about what's going on in some of the detention centers as American forces pull back from the border region. The officials say they believe only a small number of detainees have escaped.

(Read more President Trump stories.)

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