'I am increasingly optimistic': Republican critic of Trump's Syria strategy changes tune

Elias Hubbard
October 21, 2019

Ardent Trump defender Graham calls decision to withdraw from Syria "DISASTER in the making" Senator Lindsey Graham, who is usually one of President Donald Trump's most vocal supporters, has lashed out at his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria ahead of an imminent incursion by Turkey.

Graham said his conversation with Trump over the weekend has fueled optimism that a peaceful solution will be reached in Syria. Isis is an acronym for Islamic State.

Mr Graham said the President was prepared to use U.S. air power over a demilitarised zone occupied by global forces, adding that the use of air power could help ensure Islamic State fighters who had been held in the area did not "break out". The Republican congressman repeatedly warned about ISIS fighters regrouping in the region and undoing any gains of USA and Kurdish fighting forces for the past several years.

On Thursday, MEE reported that Graham said: "What Turkey did in Syria is unacceptable".

The US has merely pulled "a very small number" of troops from northern Syria near the border of Turkey, a senior State Department official told AFP on Monday following Trump's surprise declaration of the pullout. "It puts at risk our Kurdish allies who were there for us when nobody else was on the ground".

Some commenters, however, pointed out that most of the people crying treason today should re-examine the flaws of U.S. foreign policy, which long predate Trump's arrival in the Oval Office.

Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Saturday that Trump understood the need for the United States to maintain air power in the region. Hurd said he believes the Trump administration is being outsmarted by USA adversaries including Turkey, Iran and Russian Federation. "President Trump is thinking outside the box", Graham said of Trump's thinking on oil. The president's 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, and his former envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, blasted the United States leader for siding with Turkey against the Kurds.

Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd warned that 30,000 ISIS fighters are "going to come back" to Syria, and he accused the Trump administration of agreeing to "terms of surrender" rather than a "peace deal" with Turkey. "I expect we will continue to partner with the Kurds in Eastern Syria to make sure ISIS (IS) does not re-emerge".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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