Syria: Trump is ‘slowing troop withdrawal’ says Graham
President had announced he was ordering all US troops to leave the war-torn country
A file image showing US Special Forces at a front line outpost outside Manbij in Syria. Senator Lindsey Graham, suggested the US troop pullout had been slowed and that he felt ‘a lot better’ about the plan after meeting with Mr Trump. Photograph: Mauricio Lima/The New York Times
Mr Trump announced earlier this month that he was ordering the withdrawal of all the roughly 2,000 troops from war-torn Syria, with aides expecting it to take place swiftly.
The president had declared victory over the Islamic State group in Syria, though pockets of fighting remain.
Mr Graham had been an outspoken critic of Mr Trump’s decision, which had drawn bi-partisan criticism.
The announcement had also shocked American allies, including Kurds who have fought alongside the US against the Islamic State group and face an expected assault by Turkey.
“I think we’re slowing things down in a smart way,” Mr Graham said, adding that Mr Trump was very aware of the plight of the Kurds.
Mr Graham told US news channel CNN: “I’m going to ask him to sit down with his generals and reconsider how to do this. Slow this down. Make sure that we get it right. Make sure Isis never comes back. Don’t turn Syria over to the Iranians. That’s a nightmare for Israel.
“And, at the end of the day, if we leave the Kurds and abandon them and they get slaughtered, who’s going to help you in the future?