Jim Risch mug from left

Sen. Jim Risch

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch has issued this statement on the Turkish military offensive into northern Syria:

“Turkey’s aggressive actions raise serious concerns. Such an action lacks international support and risks a precipitous decline in the U.S.-Turkey relationship, as President Trump has robustly described. Continued Turkish aggression will derail international efforts to maintain pressure against the Islamic State and will undoubtedly result in further humanitarian suffering. The Kurds, who have borne the brunt of the fighting against ISIS, have been instrumental in preventing the terrorist group’s resurgence. All parties should immediately de-escalate and return to border security discussions.”

Meanwhile, in a Wednesday interview with 670 Newstalk KBOI, Risch, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declined to say whether he supported or opposed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria earlier this week, writes Idaho Press reporter Tommy Simmons.

"I support that America has a commander in chief, and he has to make decisions on the battlefield, and that’s how these decisions should be made, is on the battlefield,” Risch told radio host Nate Shelman. “Once the commander in chief makes a decision, whatever that decision is, America needs to get behind the commander in chief or we got a huge problem.” You can read Simmons' full report here at idahopress.com (subscription required).

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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