Rep. Marcy Kaptur assailed President Donald Trump for contributing to the deaths of four Americans by an Islamic State suicide bomber in Syria, charging Trump’s decision to override his military advisers and announce a withdrawal from Syria “gave succor to and emboldened the enemy.”
In a sharply worded statement Wednesday in which Kaptur asserted that Trump and White House National Security Adviser John Bolton both “dodged the draft,” the Toledo Democrat charged that an American president “cannot carelessly and unilaterally change strategy in a war zone, like Syria, without great risk to human life.”
“Over the objections of all his top military advisers, President Trump ceded the field to uncertainty,” Kaptur said. “He risked the precious lives of our U.S. military personnel stationed around the globe, but most immorally in war ravaged Syria.”
“Today’s tragic loss of Americans’ lives in Syria, along with their comrades in arms in a dangerous conflict zone, should heavily weigh on the conscience of the president based on his orders,” she said.
Two American soldiers and two American civilians were reported to have died in the attack.
Trump last month announced he would withdraw the 2,000 American soldiers in Syria who are helping Syrian Kurds fight Islamic State militants. He proclaimed that ISIS — as the terrorist organization is known — was defeated.
In a tweet, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he and his wife Jane “offer our sincerest condolences to the families of the brave soldiers” killed in Syria. “The U.S. must ensure that there is no safe haven for ISIS in Syria.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said “our hearts break” for the Americans “who died defending our nation against terrorism. This attack underscores the need for a broader conversation about our presence in Syria and for the president to present the American people with a clear plan for the region.”