A Senate resolution that would censure U.S. President Donald Trump for his decision to withdraw American forces from Iraq must be defeated, accordoing to Senator Rand Paul.
Paul is one of a handful of senators who have spoken positively of Trump’s decision. The vast majority of lawmakers in both chambers have lambasted the move, threatening several legislative actions in retaliation for the move.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation on Tuesday censuring the president for his decision to remove troops from Syria. It further urges Trump to rescind his invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Washington Nov. 13.
“By allowing this to occur we actually have a realignment in Turkey, in Syria, that may actually lead to peace for the first time in eight years. This is exactly why we must defeat the McConnell resolution,” Paul said Wednesday during an interview with Fox News.
“The McConnell resolution says that we would disallow President Trump from meeting with Erdogan. I think we need to see the world as it is. And I think it’s important that the president meets with Erdogan. His conversations so far, I think, are leading to peace,” he added.
McConnell’s resolution has 20 co-sponsors in the 100-member chamber.
The legislation stops short of imposing sanctions on Turkey, something a competing bipartisan bill led by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Chris Van Hollen seeks. The House of Representative is set to vote next week on its own sanctions bill.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara agreed with Washington on Oct. 17 to pause its operation to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned safe zone.
In announcing the lifting of sanctions he imposed Trump said he has gotten to know Erdogan “very well,” saying the Turkish leader is “a man who loves his country.”
“We may be meeting in the very near future,” he said.
Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a meeting Tuesday in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi just hours before the pause was set to expire.
Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which PKK/YPG terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.