Senate

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

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) are demanding an all-senators briefing immediately on President Trump’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 McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.).

{mosads}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.

Tags Charles Schumer Chris Coons Christopher Coons Donald Trump Lindsey Graham Mitch McConnell Syria Turkey
See all Hill.TV See all Video