HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo visited the WDAM studio Wednesday afternoon to discuss issues facing the nation.
Palazzo commented on ongoing breaking news as Turkey launched airstrikes in northeastern Syrian Wednesday, endangering America’s Kurdish allies in the region. The strike comes after President Donald Trump’s weekend announcement that the U.S. would withdraw troops from the region.
Palazzo said he disagreed with the president’s decision to withdraw from the region.
“I think this is the same mistake President [Barack] Obama made in Iraq when we withdrew the troops that actually created a vacuum and created ISIS and the caliphate,” Palazzo said. "And we had to go back and spend more blood and treasury to kind of defeat this enemy. And I’m hoping, not trying to be an armchair general, but I’m hoping this isn’t going to create another vacuum, that there’s generals in a room and that they have a plan. "
Palazzo said abandoning an ally is not in the best interest of national security.
“I don’t like the fact that we’re abandoning our Kurdish allies," Palazzo said. "We’ve been fighting side by side with them for almost 20 years now, and they helped do the dirty work and rooting out ISIS and destroying the enemy. We’re going to find less and less friends if this is how, if we are truly, again, we don’t have all the facts, this is just breaking news right now, if we’re truly abandoning our allies over there to possibly be slaughtered. It’s just not going to help us in the future.”
The representative said he hopes that the generals in charge have a long-term plan that is in the best interest of U.S. national security.
“Again, I’m not in the room. I don’t know what conversations we’re having with the Kurdish leadership, I don’t know what the options were," Palazzo said. "But, again, I’m just hoping the generals are looking long term to America’s national security. But part of our national security is standing strong with our allies.”
Palazzo also said the impeachment inquiry into Trump is overshadowing the work that needs to be done by the legislature, including a trade agreement, lowering prescription drug costs and securing the border.
He said he does not believe there is substance to the impeachment inquiry, and that Democrats are trying to undo the 2016 presidential election. Palazzo said the American people should be able to make the decision in the 2020 election.