The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday against a resolution to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
Last week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 21, which would have directed President Joe Biden to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria in accordance with Section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution.
Gaetz’s bill came to a vote on the House floor on Wednesday and failed by a vote of 103-321. In total, 56 Democrats and 47 Republicans voted in favor of the resolution.
During the floor debate, critics of the resolution argued withdrawing troops from Syria would ignite a resurgence of ISIS in the region. In response, Gaetz said, “We’ve pointed out time and again Inspector General’s reports saying that that is unlikely, but I’m not entirely sure that us having troops in Syria deters ISIS more than it is a recruiting tool for ISIS.”
Gaetz also argued that Bashar Al-Assad’s Syrian government and their Russian allies could do more to fight ISIS with U.S. forces out of the way in that area.
“The United States is conducting limited but important counterterrorism operations in Syria against ISIS, formerly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, pursuant to the 2001 counterterrorism
[Authorization for Use of Military Force],” said Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX). “Those operations are being reported regularly to Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution.”
McCaul, who serves as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, opposed Gaetz’s resolution.
Following the House vote, Gaetz vowed that he would continue to seek an end to the U.S. military involvement in Syria.
“There is no role for the United States of America in Syria. We are not a Middle Eastern power. We have tried to build a democracy out of sand, blood, and Arab militias. Time and again, the work we do does not reduce chaos,” Gaetz said. “Oftentimes, it causes chaos – the very chaos that then subsequently leads to terrorism. While today’s vote may have failed, my fight to end forever wars and bring our troops home has only just begun.”
About 900 U.S. troops are currently deployed in the eastern part of Syria.