Republican Senator Susan Collins on Wednesday criticized President Donald Trump's decision to pull American troops out of Syria, calling it a "terrible decision."
Her comments followed almost immediately reports of a military launch by Turkey against America's allies, the Kurds.
Collins said in a statement released Tuesday, October 9:
“On Monday, I said that President Trump's decision to abandon the Kurds, our major ally in the fight against ISIS, was terribly unwise. Today, we are seeing the consequences of that terrible decision. If the reports of Turkish strikes in Syria are accurate, I fear our allies the Kurds could be slaughtered.”
Reports of Turkey launching airstrikes against Kurdish fighters in noretheastern Syria surfaced just days after President Trump pulled American forces from the area.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the campaign, which followed an announcement Sunday by Trump that American troops would step aside in a shift in U.S. policy that essentially abandoned the Syrian Kurds.
The Kurds have been a longtime ally to the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State group.
Kurdish leaders said Turkish warplanes were targeting civilian areas in northern Syria causing a panic in the region.
President Trump has long wanted to pull American forces out of overseas wars.
Maine Senator Angus King, an Independent, told NEWS CENTER Maine earlier this week he was "deeply concerned" by Trump's decision to pull troops without consultation with state department officials, the Department of Defense or military commanders on the ground. King said the decision took everyone by surprise, and he said it was morally reprehensible to abandon a U.S. ally like the Kurds who have been helping America fight against ISIS.
King echoed sentiments shared by other lawmakers and diplomats that the move sends the wrong message to the world about America's willingness to stand by its commitments.