Pete Buttigieg Condemns Trump’s Abandonment of Kurdish Allies ‘Honor of American Soldiers…Has Been Taken Away’
During his appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Navy veteran and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg condemned President Donald Trump’s abrupt pullback of troops from Syria as a betrayal of both Kurdish allies and the US military who fought with them.
After discussing Buttigieg’s recent, strong performance at last week’s Democratic debate, Fallon turned to foreign policy to get the former Naval Reserve officer’s views on Trump’s widely criticized move to withdraw US forces from northeast Syria.
“What is your take on everything with Syria and Turkey?” Fallon asked.
“It’s just a bad day for America when our country can’t be relied on to keep its word,” Buttigieg responded. “I really felt when I was deployed that, in addition to my body armor and the weapons I was carrying, that one of the things that protected me was that the flag on my shoulder represented a country that was seen as credible. That our allies and our enemies knew that when we said we would do something, we would do it. So when you got these Kurdish fighters, they put their lives on the line to be at our side fighting against ISIS, and you betrayed them, which is what this president has done.”
Foreign news footage on Monday showed Kurds angrily reacting as US forces began their withdrawal from the region, leaving Turkish and even Russian forces to quickly fill the vacuum in an effort to oust the Kurds. Video from the Kurdish news agency Hawar News showed Kurdish civilians in Qamishli, Syria throwing rocks and tomatoes at a US MRAP vehicle in disgust.
“Not only is it undermining stability in Syria,” Buttigieg added, “it’s undermining the honor of American soldiers who feel now that their honor has been taken away. And when you take away a a soldier’s honor, you’re taking away the most important thing. And it’s taking away our country’s honor. It makes the world a more dangerous place. And when I am president, when I am commander-in-chief, we will restore American credibility, because lives depend on it.”
Watch the video above, via NBC.
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