Americans are not confident in President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, a move that has effectively left Kurdish allies to fend for themselves as Turkey leads a military incursion in the region.
Trump, meanwhile, has praised a recent promise from Turkey to cease hostilities. Although technically the Turkish government has not called the move a “ceasefire,” Trump still labeled it an “amazing outcome,” lavishing praise on Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, per prior reporting from HillReporter.com.
But Americans overall are skeptical of Trump’s decision to leave the region, and most do not believe the decision will leave the Middle East in a good place once the president’s policy is carried out.
A USA Today/Ipsos poll released on Friday found that, among those who are paying close attention to the story, 58 percent of Americans believe it was the wrong decision and will upset stability in the region. Meanwhile, 30 percent of those paying close mind to the situation believe it was the right move to take, agreeing with Trump’s assessments that the U.S. military has too many commitments.
Poll: Most Americans, including a plurality of Republicans, say Trump's Syria withdrawal has damaged the U.S. reputation as a trusted ally. https://t.co/XAntZ5A8na
— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) October 18, 2019
The numbers are more-or-less the same when it comes to those who support Trump’s actions or not. Again, among those following the story closely, 61 percent disagree with the president’s strategy, while 34 percent are for it.
The gap widens when it comes to what impact the decision to withdraw will have on viewpoints of the U.S. abroad. Sixty-six percent of those paying attention to the situation in Syria say that abandoning the Kurds in the region will hurt our image among allies, while only 29 percent disagree.
Even as Trump lauds the recent “pause in hostilities” by Turkey, it appears that the supposed ceasefire isn’t actually happening — according to reporting from CBS News, video evidence demonstrates that gunfire and shelling from Turkish forces have continued, in spite of promises from Erdoğan that Kurds would be allowed to retreat for a 5-day period.