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Rand Paul: President Trump did NOT give Turkey the 'green light' to invade Syria

'People need to remember the beginning of the Syrian war'


Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to discuss the recent conflict in the Middle East, and to explain why he stands by President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria.

President Trump has faced intense criticism from both Republicans and Democrats after announcing earlier this month that the United States would pull American troops out of Syria ahead of a Turkish offensive against U.S.-aligned Kurdish forces. Critics claim the the president gave Turkey the "green light" to launch an attack against the Kurds in Syria. But Paul says we need to look back at the region's history before we make assumptions about present day events.

"People need to remember the beginning of the Syrian war," Paul said. "For years and years, it was Lindsey Graham and Hillary Clinton, both on the same side, both supporting Sunni extremists against Assad. Now, Assad is no angel but most of the Christians in the country actually sided with Assad and had been a minority religion protected by Assad's government for decades. The Sunni extremists that we supported, or our government supported ... if those people had taken over, my fear is that their ideology would have been closer to the ISIS caliphate, than it would have been anything that the West is known. It's a very complicated situation."

Paul noted the important difference between Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. "The Syrian Kurds, their political ideology is socialism. In fact, the Kurdish Workers' Party is socialist and terrorist within Turkey. Interestingly, the Iraqi Kurds, who have been our friends and have some autonomy in Iraq, don't like the Syrian Kurds, and actually have an arrangement in Turkey where they've turned over Kurdish Worker Party terrorists back to Turkey," he added.

"The Iraqi Kurds have a good relationship with Turkey currently," continued Paul. "I think the irony of this is, if you care about the Kurds, it actually may turn out that in the last 24 hours there is an alliance between Assad and the Kurds developing. And that maybe the Syrians can convince the Turks that they will patrol their country. There will be no Kurdish incursions into Turkey, but there need be no Turkish incursions into Syria. And maybe there could be a development of a semi-autonomous region ... maybe there could be some peace. "

Paul argued that President Trump did not give Turkey the "green light" to invade. Rather, Turkey's President Erdoğan likely told the president he was planning to invade one way or the other, and President Trump had to decide whether or not it was wise to leave our 50 or so U.S soldiers in the way of a military invasion.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation.

Watch the full episode here.

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