- The Washington Times - Monday, October 14, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday said he is “gravely concerned’ by the U.S.’ response to the ongoing offensive in Northern Syria on American-backed Kurdish fighters.

“Turkey’s offensive against our Syrian Kurdish partners is jeopardizing years of hard-won progress in the fight against ISIS,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement.

His comments come just one day after President Trump ordered a larger pullback of U.S. troops inside Syria as a Turkish military invasion progressed and the American-backed Kurdish forces pursued an alliance with Moscow and the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper the same day said the situation is getting “worse by the hour.”

Mr. McConnell warned that abandoning the Kurdish fighters would “create a broader power vacuum in Syria that will be exploited by Iran and Russia, a catastrophic outcome for the United States’ strategic interests.”



The Senate Republican leader said senators plan to meet with administration officials to discuss avoiding a “strategic calamity” this week as lawmakers return to Washington after a two-week fall break.

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