Senate chief rebukes Trump over Syria pullout

2 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

WASHINGTON: The Republican leader of the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, has delivered a rare rebuke of Donald Trump in legislation Thursday that questions the president’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria, reports AFP.

The amendment to a broader Middle East Policy bill easily passed a preliminary procedural vote Thursday 68 to 23, with substantial support from both Democrats and Republicans.

McConnell, who rarely criticizes Trump openly, said earlier this week that the amendment “would acknowledge the plain fact that Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates in Syria and Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat to our nation.”

“It would recognize the danger of a precipitous withdrawal from either conflict, and highlight the need for diplomatic engagement and political solutions to the underlying conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan,” he said.

The amendment has no real impact on policy, but signifies the broad opposition even in Trump’s own party to a rapid removal of US troops from Syria, which the president announced in December.