In response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from the border region between Syria and Turkey, paving the way for Turkish forces to invade Kurdish territory, Democratic Majority for Israel President and CEO Mark Mellman issued the following statement:

“We are appalled by President Trump’s decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in northern Syria. All of us owe a deep debt of gratitude to American troops, who put their lives on the line to defend us, and we certainly want them safe and home as quickly as possible.

“With their backing, Kurdish forces helped lead the fight against ISIS, sacrificing thousands of their soldiers in the process. The United States promised the Kurds continued security cooperation to reduce the Turkish threat, but President Trump’s impulsive decision betrays America’s commitments to the Kurdish people. It is a grim reminder of his habit of siding with dictators and appeasing strongmen like President Erdogan. Trump’s action sends a disturbing message to our allies around the world, making it clear they cannot trust this president’s commitments.

“Allowing Turkey to invade Kurdish territory in northern Syria will result in thousands of Kurdish deaths, deprive millions of their rights, and will prevent Kurdish forces from battling ISIS and from continuing to detain the tens of thousands of ISIS fighters currently in their custody.

“Unfortunately, it is entirely possible that Trump’s business interests in Turkey played a role in his decision to overrule his own Pentagon and State Department experts.

“We urge President Trump to reconsider his rash decision and call upon Democrats and Republicans in Congress to send a clear message that the United States stands with the Kurdish people. We must never turn our back on our allies.”