Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday became the latest Republican to rip President Donald Trump for his Syrian pullout, saying that "American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal."
"Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey's ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage," McConnell said.
"As we learned the hard way during the Obama administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal."
McConnell, in his sixth Senate term, joins many other Republicans who have fired off at Trump for pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, arguing that the Kurds helped demolish the Islamic State and leaving Syria would leave the rebels vulnerable to annihilation by Turkey.
He noted that a "supermajority" of the Senate passed a bipartisan amendment backing the continued U.S. presence in Syria.
"The conditions that produced that bipartisan vote still exist today," McConnell said. "While the physical caliphate has been removed, ISIS and al Qaida remain dangerous forces in Syria and the ongoing Syrian civil war poses significant security and humanitarian risks.
"A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the [Bashar al-]Assad regime," the majority leader continued. "And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup."
McConnell called on President Trump to "exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners."
"Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey's ties to the United States," he said, "causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage."
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