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Senators demand briefing on Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria

Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen GOP senator questions constitutionality of an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office Graham pushes Schumer for vote to dismiss impeachment article MORE (R-S.C.) and Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsRomney calls for Senate to pass sanctions on Putin over Navalny poisoning Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster Security concerns mount ahead of Biden inauguration MORE (D-Del.) are demanding an all-senators briefing immediately on President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from key positions in northern Syria.

“We are concerned that this was an abrupt decision taken in the face of reported opposition from military and diplomatic advisers, and that thousands of hardened ISIS fighters and thousands more ISIS supporters currently in detention may become free to fight again as their Kurdish captors turn to defending themselves against a Turkish incursion,” Graham and Coons wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump has talked to associates about forming new political party: report McConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag McConnell keeps GOP guessing on Trump impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNew York court worker arrested, accused of threats related to inauguration Schumer: Trump should not be eligible to run for office again McConnnell, McCarthy accept Biden invitation to pre-inauguration church service MORE (N.Y.).

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Trump’s decision, announced Monday morning in a series of tweets, caught lawmakers by surprise and appears to give Turkey the go-ahead to move against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces.

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out.”

Graham, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee's foreign operations subpanel, and Coons, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, warned in Tuesday's letter that “this action will give Turkey a greenlight to go into northeastern Syria under the guise of dealing with the continued threat of ISIS.”

They warned Trump’s decisions “will have severe consequences for our strategic national interests and reduce American influence in the region while strengthening Turkey, Russia and Ira.”

The senators also asserted that Trump’s surprise move would increase the threat faced by Kurdish allies and hurt the United States’ ability to build strategic alliances in the future.

“We believe that it is imperative that the Department of Defense, State Department, and the Intelligence Community provide an all members classified briefing on this decision as soon as possible,” they wrote.