U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) has voted against directing President Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria.
In a roll call vote Wednesday, Smucker joined 320 other representatives in voting down a resolution which would have directed the president to remove American forces from the war-torn country.
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.), would have directed the administration to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria over the course of six months.
“We must end the war in Syria and bring our troops home,” Gaetz tweeted on Wednesday. “I do not believe what stands between a caliphate and not a caliphate are the 900 Americans who have been sent to this hellscape with no definition of victory, no clear objective, and purely existing as a vestige to the regime-change, failed foreign policies of multiple former presidents.”
In an effort to intervene in the ongoing Syrian civil war, President Barack Obama ordered airstrikes in Syria in 2014 and sent U.S. forces to the country in 2015. In 2018, under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the conflict continued, including an April 2018 joint missile attack on the Syrian capital Damascus in retaliation for a purported chemical attack by the Syrian government.
In October 2019, Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria.
“I don’t want to stay there for the next 40 years,” Trump told the press shortly before announcing the withdrawal. “It’s not going to do anything…I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring our soldiers home, and bring them home as rapidly as possible.”
Nevertheless, a small number of U.S. troops remained in Syria.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) joined Gaetz and 101 other House members (split fairly evenly between Republicans and Democrats) in voting Wednesday for the removal of U.S. troops from Syria. The measure failed to pass with a total vote of 321-103.