Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., agreed with President Trump that American involvement in Syria needs to end, but said Trump’s statement that the U.S. will leave soon is off-base.
Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union” the U.S. cannot stay in Syria forever but the idea that American forces can leave “very soon,” as Trump said, isn’t possible.
“It’s not a yes or no,” Sanders said when he was asked if he agreed with Trump’s statement in a speech Thursday.
“I think we absolutely do not want to get involved in this terrible civil war in Syria, which is so destructive, so destabilizing to the entire region. But, I don’t know that you can pull out tomorrow.”
Trump caught much of the foreign policy world off-guard Thursday when he said he expected the U.S. to leave Syria soon.
“By the way, we’re knocking the hell out of ISIS. We’re coming out of Syria very soon. Let the other people take care of it now — very soon, very soon, we’re coming out,” Trump said.
“We’ll have 100 percent of the caliphate as they call it, sometimes referred to as land, we are taking it all back quickly, quickly. We’re going to be coming out of there real soon, going back to our country where we belong, where we want to be.”
Sanders said working with all the region’s players — including Russia — must be a part of the peace process.
“Our job now is to work with our allies in the entire region and that is to do everything that we can to bring peace to Syria, make sure that Russia is part of that process,” he said. “But absolutely, I do not want to see American troops get stuck in a never ending civil war in Syria.”
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