President Donald Trump has ordered a slowdown to the withdrawal of US forces in Syria, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced Sunday after meeting with the president.
Graham, who had been critical of the pullout since the president’s announcement, says the US is in a “pause situation where we are re-evaluating what’s the best way to achieve the president’s objective of having people pay more and do more.”
“We talked about Syria and he told me some things I didn’t know that make me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria,” the South Carolina lawmaker said of his meeting with Trump. “He promised to destroy ISIS. He’s going to keep that promise.”
“We’re not there yet, but as I said today, we’re inside the 10-yard line and the president understands the need to finish the job,” he added.
Trump announced his plan to withdraw all of the roughly 2,000 troops from war-torn Syria earlier this month.
The announcement shocked US lawmakers and American allies alike – including the Kurds who have fought alongside the US against the Islamic State.
“We need Americans to remember that we are loyal friends and loyal allies,” Masrour Barzani, who was just nominated to become Kurdistan’s prime minister, told CBN News.
“We share the same principles and same values, and we are together against international terrorism as long as it takes,” he continued. “And in this case, to eradicate terrorism and to fight terrorism there are many ways that we have to work together.”
And even with the news of a “slowdown,” the president’s decision to withdraw from Syria is a hard one to take for many Christians in the region.
According to one Syrian Christian leader, America’s presence there has been crucial to fighting ISIS, and they couldn’t have won or protected their people without US forces.
“The US has been the one force that saved our people from ISIS,” explained Sanharib Barsoum, president of the Syriac Union Party. “We are proud that we can say that we as Syriac-Assyrian Christians have fought side by side with the US.”
He warns that the US pullout will create new danger for them, not just from ISIS but from Turkey as well. He notes that Turkish troops, many of them jihadist, overran the Syrian city of Afrin and want to destroy them.