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Graham Says Trump Has Slowed Down Forces Withdrawal from Syria

WASHINGTON – On Monday, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said that the president will ensure that the withdrawal guarantees the “final destruction of ISIL”, Al-Jazeera reported.

President Donald Trump has ordered a slowdown in the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, said Graham.

“I think we are in a break situation,” Republican South Carolina told the White House on Sunday.

On 19 December, Trump announced the withdrawal of nearly 2,000 soldiers from war-torn Syria, with the expectation that it would soon take place.

Graham had strongly criticized Trump’s decision, which had sparked bipartisan criticism.

He warned that the withdrawal of the troops would undermine national security by allowing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also called ISIS or Daesh) to make a new wave, betraying the Kurdish fighters of the armed group YPG.

Since the announcement of the withdrawal, two senior government officials have resigned, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and US envoy to ISIL fighting forces Brett McGurk.

Critics said the US pull-out would encourage Iran and Russia to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

National Security Adviser John Bolton was scheduled to visit Israel and Turkey next week to discuss the president’s plans with US allies.

During his appearance in CNN’s “State of the Union,” Graham presented his case to Trump for reconsidering Syria’s withdrawal.

“I’m going to ask him to sit down with his generals and reconsider the procedure, slow down, make sure you get it right, make sure ISIS never comes back,” Graham said.

The announcement of Syria’s withdrawal had shocked US lawmakers and allies, including Kurds who fought alongside the US against ISIL and face an expected assault on Turkey.

“I think we are slowing things down smartly,” said Graham, adding that Trump was very aware of the fate of the Kurds.

And at the end of the day, if we leave the Kurds and abandon them and they get slaughtered, who will help you in the future?” he told CNN.

I want to wage war in the enemy’s court, not in ours, which is why we need a force deployed forward in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan for a while.

Trump’s trip to Iraq last week was a revelation according to Graham and he understood the need to “finish the job” with ISIL.

(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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