Erbil, Iraq — A U.S. delegation met with the Kurds in Iraq Monday, in an effort to repair relations with abandoned U.S. allies. The meeting comes as new video shows chaos and carnage tearingapart as America struggles to redefine its role in this region.
President Trump said the priority now is for U.S. troops to protect oil wells in Syria, giving the country's natural resources higher priority than its civilian population.
Congressman Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told CBS News that is a wrong his delegation came to Iraq to right.
"I don't know why he would say something so stupid, that is so wrong on a policy. The United States of America doesn't have that oil, is never going to have that oil, it's not our oil, and I don't know why the president can't understand that," Smith said.
He also said the decision toin Syria, giving the green light for Turkey to attack Kurdish forces, has had far-reaching implications.
"Absolutely we have a credibility issue and that's part of the reason we're here is to begin to rebuild that credibility," Smith said.
The meeting in northern Iraq is important because the U.S. maintains a significant military presence there and continues joint military operations with both Kurdish forces in Iraq and in neighboring Syria, including operations against ISIS.
"It is very serious. Actually, we've seen a 300% increase in the activities of ISIS since last spring," said Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.
That's a 300% increase in ISIS attacks. Smith said the number one priority for U.S. troops in Iraq remains the fight against ISIS.