Lindsey Graham has released a scathing statement in defiance of Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of parts of Syria, saying the move “ensures the reemergence of ISIS” in the region.
“Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration,” Mr Graham, a close ally of the president in the US Senate, tweeted in a rare rebuke on Tuesday.
Mr Graham came out in swift opposition to the administration’s plan to remove US troops from northeast Syria, saying it would leave a vacuum that would allow the Islamic State to possibly restore its caliphate while allowing Turkish troops to begin a massive assault on the Kurds, who the US have considered a strategic ally in its fight against terrorism.
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He described the decision as a “disaster in the making” earlier this week and took to the president’s favorite TV network to air his concerns.
“I hope I’m making myself clear how short-sighted and irresponsible this decision is,” Mr Graham told Fox News. “I like President Trump. I’ve tried to help him. This, to me, is just unnerving to its core.”
Other Republicans and military officials have also expressed concerns the move will lead to potentially catastrophic consequences in the region.
Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who ran against Mr Trump in the 2016 election, said his decision was “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.”
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader who has largely supported the president’s agenda on Capitol Hill, also slammed the decision in a statement.
“As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal,” he said.