Shaheen on Turkish Incursion: “I’m afraid we are dangerously close to the point of no return”

October 09, 2019

**Shaheen has long worked with the families of victims murdered by ISIS to bring killers to justice**

**Last year, Shaheen traveled to Turkey to meet with President Erdogan, and Northeastern Syria where she visited ISIS detention facilities and met with local Arab politicians and SDF members**

 (Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of both the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, issued the following statement after Turkish forces began an incursion into Northeastern Syria:

“Turkey's incursion in Northeast Syria will lead to the worst-case scenario that many of us who have been to the region have long feared," said Shaheen. "President Trump and President Erdogan did not need to go down this road and risk the reemergence of ISIS, yet this is what we are facing today. Similar to his hasty decision in December of last year, President Trump did not coordinate this decision to pullback US troops with our military or diplomats in the region. We now face the very real prospect of 10,000 ISIS prisoners rejoining the battlefield, including those that participated in the murder of Americans. These terrorists would join the thousands that are already on the battlefield who are currently conducting operations and planning for prison breaks.  We know that terrorism in Syria does not stay in Syria. President Erdogan, despite his claims, does not have the support of the international community for this operation and he refuses to assure the US that he will guard ISIS detention facilities in the area and prevent ISIS from once again gaining a foothold in the region.  I’m afraid we are dangerously close to the point of no return.”

Earlier this year, Senator Shaheen authored an editorial in the Washington Post with Diane Foley, the mother of slain journalist James Foley and the President of the James W. Foley Foundation, addressing the critical issue of ISIS terrorists currently detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces in Northeastern Syria.

In 2018, Senator Shaheen travelled with Senator Lindsey Graham to Turkey to meet with President Erdogan, and Northeastern Syria where she met with Kurdish leadership holding thousands of ISIS prisoners. Senators Shaheen and Graham discussed their trip with 60 Minutes.

Shaheen established the Syria Study Group which was signed into law in 2018. The Syria Study Group released its final report with recommendations for U.S. policy on September 26th.