Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Thursday lashed out at President Donald Trump for yanking U.S. troops from northern Syria, allowing Turkey to roust Syrian Kurds in a bloody incursion.
In a blistering speech from the Senate floor, Romney also refuted Trump's portrayal of Turkey's temporary halt to the attacks as a victory.
"The decision to abandon the Kurds violates one of our most sacred duties," Romney said. "It strikes at American honor. What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history.”
Video of the remarks was posted by Axios.
"There are broad strategic implications of our decision as well," Romney said. "Iranian and Russian interests in the Middle East have been advanced by our decision. At a time when we're applying maximum pressure on Iran by giving them a stronger hand in Syria, we've actually weakened that pressure."
"Russia's objective to play a greater role in the Middle East has also been greatly enhanced," he said. "The Kurds, out of desperation, have now aligned with [Syrian President Bashar al] Assad."
A deal to stop the fighting in Turkey — which Turkey insists is not actually a ceasefire — will force U.S.-allied Kurdish forces to evacuate the area Turkey is conducting its military operation within five days.
Romney — and many experts, according to Axios — have argued such a move gives Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exactly what he wanted.
"The announcement today is being portrayed as a victory," Romney said, according to Mediaite.
"It is far from a victory. Serious questions remain about how the decision was reached precipitously to withdraw from Syria and why that decision was reached."
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