US Senate rebukes Trump over Syria, Afghanistan troop withdrawals

Another administration ally and veteran Republican activist characterized the attempt as the most forceful break by McConnell with Trump since he's become president.

And a growing concern for Republicans - which McConnell voiced to Trump at the White House - is that they would be forced to vote on a disapproval resolution aimed at overturning the declaration, and that the resolution would pass.

Trump noted approvingly that peace talks were underway in Afghanistan and that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) was almost eliminated in Syria.

"No one has forgotten September 11, 2001, but sometimes we fail to remember what made is possible in the first place", said Sen.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., argued in support of the amendment on the Senate floor, saying Trump's withdrawal announcement has already undermined USA credibility in the region.

Though many Democrats have argued that the USA should eventually withdraw from the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan, around half of them supported McConnell's resolution.

Such is the sentiment among numerous president's allies who back his proposed withdrawal in Syria and pullback in Afghanistan.

Just because Trump is bungling Syria policy doesn't mean Democrats should endorse endless war, nor this amendment which asserts American forces are in Syria to fight Iran. The United States and the Taliban have sketched the outlines for an eventual peace accord, a us special envoy said on Monday, but there was no sign the insurgent group had accepted key USA demands. "Our troops have been in Syria since 2015 under what I believe are very questionable legal authorities", Sanders declared.

"It's sort of this great improvisation directed by the president of the United States, that doesn't really follow any of the notes or sheets of music", Katulis said.

The move was backed by a 68-23 vote which serves notice to the White House and came on a procedural matter clearing the way for an amendment on Syria and Afghanistan troop levels. Trump began drawing down troops in the country in late December.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a top McConnell confidant, said this week that he is opposed to a national emergency declaration in part because of what it might embolden a future Democratic president to do.

The GOP-controlled Senate voted again to go on the record with more pushback on foreign policy - this time on Syria.


McConnell did not explain why he doesn't think more Republicans would take advantage of this time off, instead summarizing the bill as a "power grab". "Most immediately, the United States must use our leverage with Turkey to prevent further military incursions into Syrian territory, particularly those targeting Kurdish communities there".

This article was written by Karoun Demirjian, a reporter for The Washington Post.

  • Rogelio Becker