Trump announced over the weekend that he would be withdrawing troops from northeastern Syria, a move that many Republicans and Democrats have questioned. Since the announcement, Turkey has already invaded the region, putting at risk Kurdish soldiers who were guarding ISIS prisoners on behalf of the U.S.
Rice — who served as National Security Advisor for President Barack Obama‘s second term — claimed that Trump’s decision will not only hurt the United States’ Kurdish allies, but it could put Americans at risk.
Watch Rice’s comments below:
“It’s super dangerous. First of all, the Kurds — who we have abandoned to the Turks who are now trying to kill them with their invasion — were the very people who fought with us, and actually fought for us against ISIS. Because the U.S. role has been very limited. We’ve provided training, advice, equipment, air support, but there are actually very few U.S. troops on the ground, and those that are there have been in an advisory capacity, for the most part. So these Kurds, our partners, we’ve just left to the wolves. And the message that that sends to all of our potential allies and partners around the world is, you know, when the president wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, we’ll throw you under the bus.”
As Rice noted, the Kurds assisted the U.S. in battles against ISIS which resulted in the apprehension of many terrorists. Those terrorists have now been placed under the watch of Turkey by President Trump.
Rice noted that she doesn’t believe those prisoners are secured.
“The Kurds, were protecting some 10,000 or more ISIS terrorists that were being held in detention. Now that we have abandoned them, they have no choice but to fight and defend themselves. Those prisoners are either going to be released or escape. That’s more than 10,000 fighters that can threaten us in the region, can threaten us through our partners in Europe or potentially can threaten us here in the homeland. The president has traded our national security for I’d like to know what.”
Rice said that she believes the decisions made in Syria by Trump are more dangerous than the allegations of the impeachment inquiry surrounding his calls with Ukrainian leaders.
“We’re talking about impeachment,” said Rice. “I don’t know what is more dangerous than allowing terrorists to come at us at their will. That’s what this is. That’s as dangerous as the other stuff that we’re talking about.”
Rice did face some pushback during the interview from host Meghan McCain about the Obama administration’s handling of Syria. The former national security secretary admitted that she advised against the direction the former president took but claimed she is satisfied with how the process was handled.