The presence of the United States troops in Syria has been a long-debated issue within the White House. The havoc has just escalated, as President Donald Trump announced to withdraw all the US group forces from Syria in the next 30 days, catching the Republican senators off guard.
The crucial announcement made by Trump on Wednesday left several policymakers appalled. Some lawmakers also described the decision as abrupt, which came without any warning from the administration.
Republican senators, including Marco Rubio of Florida, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa and Tom Cotton of Arkansas signed a letter in context to Trump’s decision.
The lawmakers regarded the President’s decision as a “premature and costly mistake.” The letter said, “While you believe the threat of ISIS has dissipated, the conditions on the ground paint a very different picture.”
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, along with the Independent Senator Angus King of Maine, described the approximately 2000 US ground forces posted in Syria as “small and limited.” However, they stated that these troops have effectively fought ISIS militants and impeding the Russian influence in the country.
The letter from the Republican senators also said that if the president executes his decision of withdrawal of the US troops in Syria, there is a possibility that the “remnants of ISIS in Syria will surely renew” and will “embolden their efforts in the region.”
The lawmakers also warned that pulling out the American presence in Syria will strengthen two of the major adversaries of the US, that is, Iran and Russia.
They stated, “As you are aware, both Iran and Russia have used the Syrian conflict as a stage to magnify their influence in the region. Any sign of weakness perceived by Iran or Russia will only result in their increased presence in the region and a decrease in the trust of our partners and allies.”
While the Republican senators couldn’t determine the reason behind the president’s decision, Trump claimed that it’s because America’s mission in Syria has been accomplished. He said that the “only reason for being there” was to overthrow ISIS, which has been achieved during his two years’ presidency.
Trump’s decision came in contrast with the analysis of the senior advisers, who have earlier stated that America will maintain its presence in Syria even after achieving its objective.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis suggested that the US troops will remain in Syria after ISIS is defeated, citing the potential revival of the militant group and the threats from Iran.
Besides, coalition envoy Brett McGurk also said that America was “committed to working with our partners” in Syria, and that “any reports indicating a change in the US position” was “false and designed to sow confusion and chaos.”
This time, Trump’s decision has not just startled the senior advisers and defense officials, but also the lawmakers.
Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee stated that this is the first time in 12 years of his job that such a “massive decision” has taken place abruptly and without any deliberations in advance.
“I doubt there’s anybody in the Republican caucus in the Senate that just isn’t stunned by this precipitous decision,” Corker added.
The decision from Trump has intensified the situation to a whole new extent, where in a rare scenario, even the Republican senators are seen reprimanding the President’s decision on the withdrawal of the Americans from Syria.
It still remains an enigma that what exactly has prompted Trump’s abrupt decision, which came out without any deliberations with the top Republican authorities.