U.S. senators warn Trump against plans to leave Syria
U.S. senators from both sides of the isle are reacting angrily to president Donald Trump's decision to begin pulling troops out of Syria, describing the move as a seriously "huge Obama-like mistake."
Iran news/ America: The bipartisan group of senators wrote in a letter to the U.S. president on Wednesday warning that withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria would "renew and embolden" Daesh efforts in the region, Iran Press reported.
Republican senators Lindsey Graham, Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio as well as Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen and independent senator Angus King expressed serious concern in the letter noting that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria may embolden Bashar al Assad to take further actions to solidify his power.
We write today to express our concern regarding your administration’s consideration to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria," they wrote. "We believe that such action at this time is a premature and costly mistake that threatens the safety and security of the United States"
“If you decide to follow through with your decision to pull our troops out of Syria, any remnants of Daesh in Syria will surely renew and embolden their efforts in the region," they continued
The senators urged the president not to "repeat the same mistakes" made by administrations before his.
On Wednesday morning, following reports by The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post that the U.S. president was preparing an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, Trump took to Twitter and declared victory against Daesh in Syria in a tweet.
We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
The White House confirmed in a statement Wednesday that the administration has “started returning United States troops home” but emphasized that coalition efforts in Syria would continue. It also doubled down on Trump's claim that “the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate.”
"The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny terrorists, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
In a rare move, Senate Republicans lashed out at Trump over the decision, with several lawmakers saying Congress received no warning of Trump’s announcement.
“It’s a terrible decision,” said Rubio earlier on Wednesday. “I hope it can be entirely or at least partially reversed, or we’re going to pay a big price for it in the years to come.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the U.S. administration told him that it is the U.S. President Donald Trump's intention to "remove its troops from Syria".
"I spoke with Donald Trump the day before yesterday, and with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday."
The American administration told me that it is the president's intention to remove its troops from Syria. They clarified that they have other ways to bring about their influence in the area. This is of course an American decision.
We will learn of its timetable, the manner of its execution, and of course the consequences for us. Either way, we will safeguard the security of Israel and protect ourselves from this arena, said Netanyahu. 105/206