Washington (AP) - Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made unusually harsh words against US President Donald Trump's Syrian pledge.
"Taking US troops out of Syria is a serious strategic mistake," McConnell wrote in a guest post for the Washington Post, which was released Friday (local time). This makes America less secure, strengthens the enemies of the United States and weakens important partners.
He has learned three lessons from the fight against international terrorism in recent years: The threat does not simply disappear, US leadership is unequaled here and America is not alone in this struggle, but relies on local partners in the region. "Unfortunately, the recent steps of the Syrian government do not reflect these important lessons," complained McConnell. "The combination of a US withdrawal and the escalating hostilities between Turks and Kurds creates a strategic nightmare for our country."
He warned, "Even if the truce of five days announced on Thursday holds, the events of the past week have thrown back the US fight against the Islamic State and other terrorists." The retreat of American troops would, if left unchecked, be Syrian Ruler President Bashar al-Assad, Iran and Russia in the hands play. McConnell called urgently to keep a limited number of US troops in Syria, to maintain military presence in Iraq and elsewhere in the region, and not to leave Afghanistan before the job was done there. "America's wars are 'endless' only if America refuses to win them."
Trump has long been pursuing the goal of taking US troops home from foreign missions and ending US involvement in "endless wars." With the withdrawal of American soldiers from northern Syria in early October, the Republican had cleared the way for a military offensive by Turkey against Kurdish militias in the area, which met with massive criticism both nationally and internationally. Even close allies in his own party, such as the Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, publicly storm against Trump course. With McConnell now an even more weighty voice has been added in the own ranks.