WASHINGTON – The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, which led to imposing sanctions on Turkey after it invaded Syria to go after Kurdish fights “Makes no sense whatsoever,” a top National Security Council adviser in the Bush administration said Tuesday.

“We are in a position, which makes no sense whatsoever, of ditching a major NATO ally…for a splintered, extremist terrorist organization that doesn’t even represent the Kurds,” said Michael Doran, former senior director of the Bush administration’s National Security Council on President Donald Trump’s recent sanctions on Turkey.

After the Trump administration decided to withdraw troops from Northern Syria, the president announced the U.S. would impose sanctions on Turkey for its invasion of Syria on Monday. The sanctions against Turkey include a hike in the steel tariff back to 50% and an immediate halt of talks on a $100 billion trade deal.

At a panel discussion on the future of U.S. Middle East policy at the Hudson Institute, experts on the U.S.-Turkey relationship discussed the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the opportunity the fighting presents for Russia and Iran in the region. A statement by Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, said that he held a telephone conversation with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in which they “exchanged views on defense and security issues, especially in Syria.”