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Washington wary of Trump’s Syria withdrawal


A Syrian Democratic Forces soldier near Manbij, Syria, in April 2018 Associated Press/Photo by Hussein Malla

Washington wary of Trump’s Syria withdrawal

WASHINGTON—Lawmakers from both parties warned Monday that the Turkish military could attack Kurds in Syria once U.S. troops leave the area. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from northeastern Syria, saying, “I urge the president to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS”—a coalition in which the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces played an important role.

Who else spoke out? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the move a “disturbing development that betrays our Kurdish allies who have been instrumental partners in our mission to eradicate ISIS.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., warned he will introduce sanctions against Turkey and call for its removal from NATO should the Turkish military move against the Kurds. Trump told reporters Monday that he was “not siding” with Kurdish forces in the area or the Turkish government. He threatened Turkey with sanctions if it does “anything outside of what we think is humane.”

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s analysis of the effect of the U.S. turnabout in Syria.


Harvest Prude

Harvest is a former political reporter for WORLD’s Washington Bureau. She is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate.

@HarvestPrude

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Big Jim

Nice synopsis, OldMike.