Members of the Tennessee delegation in Congress have come out on Monday against President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.
The announcement, made by the president on Sunday night, has received significant pushback in the U.S. House and Senate, even among members of his own party.
Rep. Mark Green, a U.S. Army veteran and frequent supporter of the president, tweeted on Monday that "withdrawing American troops from the Syrian border betrays our Kurdish allies and will only create more instability in the region."
Having served 24 years in uniform and deployed three times to the Middle East, I'm disappointed in this decision. Withdrawing American troops from the Syrian border betrays our Kurdish allies and will only create more instability in the region. https://t.co/1PVkk8wcQT
— Rep. Mark Green (@RepMarkGreen) October 7, 2019
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, also a loyal supporter of the president and his policies, came out against the decision as well.
In a tweet, she warned about ISIS potentially regaining power in Syria: "Syria’s location leaves it vulnerable to adversaries, and an American presence preserves the possibility for peace."
For the past several years, American forces have fought alongside our Kurdish allies in Syria to provide safety and security to the region. As the Syrian people seek stability post-conflict, we ought not to give ISIS any room to regain territory.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) October 7, 2019
Meanwhile, the two Tennessee Democrats in the U.S. House also denounced Trump's decision. Rep. Steve Cohen, of Memphis, used his statement to criticize the president: "Trump is showing the world that the U.S. cannot be trusted to support our friends or keep our word."
In a video published on Twitter, Rep. Jim Cooper mentioned the significance of the Kurdish community in Nashville.
in the fight against ISIS. This is a stunning and reckless change in US foreign policy.
We need to make sure Kurds wherever they live are protected. This will hurt families and friends of Kurds living in Nashville, which is home to the largest Kurdish population in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/XxKCYrIqmp
— Jim Cooper (@repjimcooper) October 7, 2019
According to the Tennessee Kurdish Community Council, 15,000 Kurds live in the city, making Nashville the city with most Kurds in the U.S.
Cooper said he was "shocked and afraid" when he learned about the news.
"This could be not only a terrible blow to the Kurds, but it could lead to a bloodbath," Cooper said. "We need to make sure that the Kurdish community is protected in whatever country that it is."