Tags: Donald Trump | Syria | Trump Administration | trump | lindsey graham | syria | isis

Report: Lindsey Graham Key to Trump's Reversal on Syria

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 October 2019 01:08 PM

President Donald Trump reversed his decision on Syria after Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and other key allies showed him maps detailing the oil fields that would be seized by Iran and ISIS if he withdrew U.S. troops, according to news reports Tuesday.

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane showed the president maps of Syria, Turkey, and Iraq in White House meetings on Oct. 8 and Oct. 14, NBC News reports, citing "four people familiar with the meetings."

Keane, now a Fox News analyst, pointed out the fields in northern Syria that the U.S. and its Kurdish allies have controlled.

He explained to the president that those oil resources would "fall into Iran's hands if Trump withdrew all U.S. troops from the country," NBC reports.

The second meeting included Graham, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has bitterly criticized President Trump's initial withdrawal decision.

In that session, Keane showed Trump another map — this time pointing out that "nearly three quarters of Syria's oil fields are in the parts of the country where U.S. troops are deployed," according to NBC.

Graham and Keane told Trump that Tehran was "preparing to move toward the oil fields and could seize the air space above them once the U.S. leaves."

Trump, NBC reports, "seemed 'resigned' to leaving a small number of American troops in northern Syria to keep control of the oil," one person present at the meeting told the network.

President Trump has long argued that seizing the oil and gas across Syria and Iraq were key to destroying the Islamic State and Iran.

A 2015 report in The New York Times estimated that ISIS made about $1 million a day through extortion and taxation, with its oil assets bringing in $100 million the previous year.

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President Donald Trump reversed his decision on Syria after Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and other key allies showed him maps detailing the oil fields that would be seized by Iran and ISIS if he withdrew U.S. troops, according to news reports Tuesday.
trump, lindsey graham, syria, isis
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2019-08-22
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 01:08 PM
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