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

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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday urged President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' 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.