Middle East/North Africa

Russia praises US decision to pull troops out of Syria

Russia praised President Trump’s decision to start withdrawing American forces from Syria, saying that the move creates hopes for “a political solution.”

“A milestone story which might evolve from this decision is a real prospect for a political solution,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday, according to Russian news agency TASS.

The Russian Embassy in the U.S. also shared the statement.

The White House confirmed in a statement that the administration has “started returning United States troops home” from Syria, but emphasized that coalition efforts in Syria would continue. 

{mosads}Several Republicans, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), criticized the action, with Graham calling it an “Obama-like mistake.” 

“Staying there is an insurance policy against the reemergence of [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and destruction of our Kurdish allies who fought so bravely against them,” said Graham, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Some Democrats, like Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.), have praised the move, along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Russia and the U.S. have been supporting opposing sides in the Syrian civil war. Russia supports the government led by President Bashar Assad, while the U.S. backs local forces that oppose the government.

Tags Donald Trump Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio Rand Paul Ted Lieu

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