U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday defended a decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying it was too costly to keep supporting U.S-allied, Kurdish-led forces in the region fighting Islamic State militants. Trump's decision was met with immediate and largely bipartisan condemnation.
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South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a top Republican ally of President Donald Trump, is threatening legislation to impose economic sanctions on Turkey if it invades Syria. Graham has Democratic allies and warned that any congressional vote would be overwhelming.
Graham said Monday that Trump's moves are a "disaster in the making" that would empower ISIS and Syria. He said he's already spoken to Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen about drafting the sanctions legislation. Graham said on Twitter that "sanctions against Turkey – if necessary – would be veto-proof." Graham added that the U.S. Senate "will call for their suspension from NATO."
Just spoke to Sen @ChrisVanHollen about situation in Syria.
We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the U.S. in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 7, 2019
….the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
Trump tweeted soon after a similar warning, saying, "Anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)"
Read more: Defying Pentagon, Trump backs Turkish operation in Syria targeting U.S.-backed Kurds | Trump slammed for allowing Turkey to attack Kurdish allies in Syria