Rep. Pence votes support for U.S. leaving Syria

U.S. Rep. Greg Pence, a Columbus resident, was one of three Indiana Republicans to vote against a House resolution that condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from northern Syria this month.

Democrats and a majority of Republicans approved the nonbinding resolution by a 354-60 Wednesday.

The resolution states Congress’ opposition to the troop pullback and says that Turkey should cease its military action in Syria. The measure also says the White House should present a plan for an “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State group.

Many worry that the group may revive itself as Turkish forces attack Syrian Kurds holding the extremists.

Trump told reporters at the White House that the Syrian Kurdish fighters that Turkey considers terrorists are more dangerous than IS. Turkey believes the Syrian Kurds who fought alongside the U.S. against IS are linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which it considers terrorists.

Pence, a first-term congressman, represents Indiana’s 6th congressional district, which includes Bartholomew County.

“Congressman Pence has full confidence in President Trump’s policy in the Middle East. As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Congressman Pence feels the recent ceasefire agreement announced today is an example of why this administration deserves patience and support. He will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds,” said Kyle Robertson, Pence’s chief of staff.

The other two Indiana Republicans who joined Pence in the minority of the vote were U.S. Reps. James Baird, 4th District, and Trey Hollingsworth, 9th District.

Indiana representatives who supported the resolution are:

Peter J. Visclosky, D, 1st District

Jackie Walorski, R, 2nd District

Jim Banks, R, 3rd District

Susan Brooks, R, 5th District

André Carson, D, 7th District

Larry Bucshon, R, 8th District

While the debate over Trump’s decision rages in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence, a younger brother of Rep. Pence, headed Wednesday to Turkey seeking a halt to the assault on the Syrian Kurds and push for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to agree to a cease-fire.

On Thursday, Vice President Pence announced that Turkey had agreed to a cease-fire in Syria.

Vice President Pence heads a U.S. delegation that also includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser Robert O’Brien.

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Vice President Mike Pence negotiates a cease fire in Syria. Page A3