House members urge Trump to rescind invitation to Erdoğan

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Turkish President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and US President Donald Trump (2 L) chat each other during a dinner hosted by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres (not seen) within the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States on September 19, 2017. AFP

US Representative Eliot L. Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Monday led House members in pressing President Donald Trump to rescind his invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to visit the White House, a Foreign Affairs Committee press release said.

“President Erdogan’s decision to invade northern Syria on October 9 has had disastrous consequences for U.S. national security, has led to deep divisions in the NATO alliance, and caused a humanitarian crisis on the ground,” the lawmakers wrote, referring to Turkey’s cross-border incursion into Kurdish-held territories in northern Syria.

“Turkish forces have killed civilians and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a critical U.S. partner in the fight against ISIS and displaced over one hundred thousand people from their homes in northern Syria.”

Erdoğan is scheduled to visit Washington on Wednesday. The two presidents are expected to discuss the fate of recaptured Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) fighters in Syria.

The letter was also signed by 16 other representatives, including Minnesota Congressman Ilhan Omar, who was the target of criticism after she was the only Democrat to vote against sanctioning Turkey over Ankara’s offensive.

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