US senators worried over Trump’s withdrawal from Syria

Decision to pull out troops a 'premature and costly mistake', say lawmakers in letter

US senators worried over Trump’s withdrawal from Syria

A group of U.S. senators sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressing grave concern over his decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria and asked him to reconsider the move.

The letter by six senators was shared on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s official Twitter account.

"We believe that such action at this time is a premature and costly mistake that not only threatens the safety and security of the United States but also emboldens ISIS [Daesh], Bashar al Assad, Iran and Russia," their statement said. 

Trump said earlier in the day that the U.S.-led coalition has succeeded in defeating the Daesh terrorist group, suggesting that a withdrawal of U.S. troops was imminent.

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency," he said on Twitter. 

Trump later announced that all of the U.S.'s roughly 2,000 troops in northeastern Syria would be leaving.

"It's time for our troops to come back home," he said in a pre-recorded video message posted on Twitter. "Our boys, our young women, our men -- they're all coming back, and they're coming back now."

The senators noted in the letter that the troops provide "critical support" to America’s Kurdish partners in the fight against Daesh.

"If our Kurdish partners in the region lose the support of the United States, we run the risk of a resurgence of ISIS and the possible capitulation or all out destruction of Kurdish resistance in the region,” they added.

The U.S. has been working alongside the YPG/PKK in Syria in an effort to eliminate Daesh from the region. 

Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian extension of the PKK, a designated terrorist group in Turkey, the EU and the U.S.

Graham had earlier drawn parallels between Trump's decision and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq under former President Barack Obama, a development that many Republicans link to the rise of Daesh. 

Trump’s withdrawal decision comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to launch a military operation in northeastern Syria against the YPG/PKK.

Ankara has carried out two separate military operations in northern Syria in the past. 

The U.S. had warned publicly against a new operation in northeastern Syria as it works alongside the YPG-led SDF, which is fighting Daesh in its last remaining major foothold in eastern Syria. 

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