Lindsey Graham Attacks Trump for Plan to Pull out of Syria
Following President Donald Trump’s announcement via Twitter this morning that the United States had defeated ISIS in Syria and a defense official’s statement to the Washington Post that the Trump Administration plans to pull troops out of the country immediately, Lindsey Graham took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.
The South Carolina Senator blasted Trump in a Twitter thread. He said, “withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake,” adding, “with all due respect, ISIS is not defeated in Syria, Iraq, and just after returning from visiting there— certainly not Afghanistan.”
Graham warned that a U.S. withdrawal would leave Kurds, who have been a valuable ally in the fight against ISIS, at risk. “A decision to withdraw will also be viewed as a boost to ISIS desire to come back,” Graham wrote.
Al Jazeera reported that recent UN estimates put the number of ISIS fighters still active in the region at around 20,000 to 30,000. As recently as nine hours prior to Trump’s tweet, US forces were engaging ISIS targets.
Graham’s barbs will sting all the more given the pair have enjoyed a cosy relationship in recent months, with the pair golfing together more frequently and Graham frequently defending the president in the media.
However, the pair have clashed before over policy. In January, they sparred over immigration, and on the campaign trail, Graham was one of Trump’s fiercest critics, calling him “unfit for office” and a “kook”.
If the gloves come off over the Syria withdrawal, the representative from South Carolina may find himself in need of a new golfing buddy in the near future.