President Trump on Wednesday hit back against Sen. Lindsey Graham for criticizing him over pulling US troops out of Syria, claiming the Republican lawmaker would have Americans fighting in the region for the “next thousand years.”
“Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers and fighting other people’s wars. I want to get out of the Middle East,” Trump said at a joint press conference in the White House with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
The president said Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, should use the power of his panel to investigate corruption during the 2016 presidential election, including Obama administration officials.
“That’s what Lindsey ought to focus on,” the president said. “That’s what the people of South Carolina want him to focus on.”
Graham, who has been a strong ally of the president in Congress, reacted to Trump’s earlier comments that the fighting between Turkey and Syria is “not our problem.”
The South Carolina lawmaker said Trump’s decision could be a “complete and utter national security disaster in the making.”
“I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkey’s invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won’t come back to haunt us, ISIS won’t reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision,” Graham wrote on Twitter.
“However, I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq,” he added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s troops invaded Syria last week after Trump told him earlier this month that he would move US troops from the norther border area.
Turkey’s military is targeting the Kurds, who were partners the last five years with the US in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.
Ankara considers the Kurds a terror organization linked to an insurgent group battling the government in Turkey.
Hundreds of ISIS followers escaped a Kurdish-run detention camp in Syria during the fighting, reports said.
Source: nypost, October 17, 2019
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