Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Top Republican Graham more upbeat on Syria troop withdrawal after Trump meeting

Top Republican Graham more upbeat on Syria troop withdrawal after Trump meeting

Later in the afternoon, Graham emerged from the White House meeting and said that Trump had promised to stay in Syria to finish the job of destroying IS - just days after announcing he would be withdrawing troops immediately. "I never said fast or slow", he said.

"We talked about Syria".

"But we want to protect the Kurds, nevertheless, we want to protect the Kurds", he continued. I'm getting out, we're getting out of Syria.

The announcement also had shocked lawmakers and American allies, including Kurds who have fought alongside the US against the Islamic State group and face an expected assault by Turkey. That's a nightmare for Israel.

But after saying troops would come home right away, and that the Islamic State group was defeated, he didn't give any specific timetable.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested Sunday President Donald Trump now better understands the stakes in Syria and has agreed to reevaluate, for now, his plans to immediately withdraw all United States troops from the country. The Kurdish fighters are pulling back across the Euphrates river, the Syrian government said.

Trump also responded to questions about the U.S. decision to withdraw from northern Syria.

The President said in another tweet Monday morning, "If anybody but Donald Trump did what I did in Syria, which was an ISIS loaded mess when I became President, they would be a national hero".

On Monday, Trump said on Fox News that he had conciliated Senator Lindsey Graham about Graham's concern regarding a rapid withdrawal, asserting, "I said, 'You know, I never said that I'm going to rush out.'" He added that the US could still fight ISIS despite pulling out from Syria, positing, "You can do two things at once".

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus suggests that Mr Trump appears to be washing his hands of Syria and handing the whole job over to Russia, Turkey and Iran. "ISIS is being dealt one brutal defeat after another", he said at a rally in Florida.

Defense Secretary James Mattis unexpectedly resigned after the announcement, and Brett McGurk, the US's top envoy in the fight against ISIL, announced he would be leaving his post earlier than expected due to the decision.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced this afternoon that Trump is now in a "pause situation" and reevaluating his decision to make an abrupt withdrawal from Syria. "We will continue the same way as before this decision was made", Pompeo said.

Last week, the Syrian army deployed forces near Manbij in northern Syria after the YPG urged Damascus to protect the town from the threat of a Turkish offensive.

'I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places.

The United States has about 2,000 troops - a lot of them special forces - deployed in northern Syria to fight IS and reinforce anti-jihadist forces.

On Friday, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met at the White House with Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, to get more clarity on the timing and other details of the withdrawal.

Like this: