U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has warned against President Donald Trump’s apparent plan to withdraw the estimated 2,000 American troops stationed in Syria, arguing such a move would lead to a resurgence by the Islamic State terror group and allow Iran to deepen its influence in the country. “It’d be the single worst decision the president could make…this is a disaster in the making,” the Republican member of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee affirmed; this, just days after President trump told a rally of supporters that he was planning to bring American soldiers back from Syria “very soon.”
The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS ostensibly fulfilled its mission over the past year by retaking almost all of the terror group’s territory in Syria including Raqqa, the former headquarters of its so-called ‘caliphate.’ However, Graham stressed that an estimated 3,000 Islamic State fighters remain in isolated pockets across the country and could regroup if the U.S. military were to fully pull-out.
It is a position shared by many in Washington’s defense establishment, much of which is believed to have been caught off guard by President Trump’s comments. The White House’s National Security Council is expected to meet early next week to discuss the fate of the U.S. mission in Syria. Meanwhile, on the ground, Syrian media reported that a deal was reached to evacuate Jaish al Islam fighters from the city of Douma, which would effectively restore the regime’s total control over the strategic Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta. Pro-Assad forces, backed by Russian air power, have for six weeks waged a fierce campaign to retake the rebel-held territory, in the process killing more than 1,600 people, injuring thousands more and displacing tens of thousands of others. The post Senator: Syria Troop Pull-out Would Be Gift To ISIS, Iran (http://www.themedialine.org/