Graham implores Trump on Syria: 'Listen to your commanders'

Graham implores Trump on Syria: 'Listen to your commanders'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Media and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE to "listen to your commanders" rather than "policy shop civilians" on the conflict in Syria. 

Graham, one of the more vocal GOP opponents of Trump's plan to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, echoed the president's remarks from earlier in the day in which he expressed hope that a cease-fire between Turkey and Kurdish forces will hold.

"Mr. President: listen to your commanders, not [Office of the Secretary of Defense] policy shop civilians. OSD policy shop has been a big problem for a long time," Graham tweeted.

Trump announced earlier Wednesday that his administration would halt sanctions on Turkey after the country agreed to maintain the cease-fire.


"Earlier this morning, the government of Turkey informed my administration that they would be stopping combat and their offensive in Syria and making the cease-fire permanent," Trump said in televised remarks. 

Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish troops in northern Syria earlier this month after the White House announced it would withdraw forces from the region. The Kurds, a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS, are viewed as terrorist fighters by Ankara. 

Graham was vehemently critical of Trump's decision, but he significantly softened his rhetoric after the administration's sanctions were announced.