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

Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSchumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe Graham announces hearing on police use of force after George Floyd killing In a new cold war with China, America may need to befriend Russia MORE (R-S.C.) and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsVoting rights, public health officials roll out guidelines to protect voters from COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Warren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor MORE (D-Del.) are demanding an all-senators briefing immediately on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichael Flynn transcripts reveal plenty except crime or collusion 50 people arrested in Minneapolis as hundreds more National Guard troops deployed Missouri state lawmaker sparks backlash by tweeting 'looters deserve to be shot' 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 McConnellSchumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe Overnight Health Care: Trump says US 'terminating' relationship with WHO | Cuomo: NYC on track to start reopening week of June 8 | COVID-19 workplace complaints surge 10 things to know today about coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFederal judges should be allowed to be Federalist Society members Warren condemns 'horrific' Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests, other senators chime in VA hospitals mostly drop hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment 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.