Both of Alaska’s U.S. senators have joined the chorus of Republicans criticizing President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria.
Trump announced the move Sunday night. It paves the way for Turkey to proceed with a planned operation against the Kurds.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both Republicans, issued statements on social media.
Murkowski weighed in Tuesday, saying the withdrawal betrays America’s Kurdish allies and aids a resurgence of the Islamic State militant group.
Withdrawing from Syria in this way not only betrays our long-standing Kurdish allies but creates space for an ISIS resurgence. We are already hearing disturbing reports from the region. I urge the president to reconsider this abrupt and unsettling decision.
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) October 8, 2019
Sullivan’s post, issued late Monday, says U.S. troops should not be in Syria indefinitely. But he says abandoning the Kurds will make it harder for America to attract battlefield allies in the future.
This decision will likely lead to increased Iranian influence; expand the power vacuum likely to be filled by Russian and Iranian proxies; and would raise the likelihood that ISIS prisoners will be released or escape from detention.
— Sen. Dan Sullivan (@SenDanSullivan) October 8, 2019
In a rare showing of bipartisan criticism, Congress members of both parties have condemned Trump’s decision.
- The Alaska Department of Revenue forecasts $187.3 million less in state revenue this year than it did in the spring. The department released the forecast on Friday.
- In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season.
- Anchorage natural gas company ENSTAR is asking state regulators to allow it to bill its customers to recover $1 million in costs from last year's major earthquake.
- “We know many, many people are going to lose benefits because of this,” says Cara Durr with the Food Bank of Alaska.