President Donald Trump recently announced that the United States will be withdrawing from Syria. The news was met with mixed views since people have been unsure about what role the United States can play in the region.
Since the decision was announced other countries have been aggressive in Syria. Turkish forces have been fighting with the Kurds in Turkey and the concerns of instability are growing. The Kurds in Iraq and Syria have continuously helped American forces in the region.
Due to these concerns, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and other senior Republic senators introduced a resolution that states that they are opposing President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria. Senator McConnell went on the Senate floor and stated that “if not arrested, withdrawing from Syria will invite more of the chaos that breeds terrorism and creates a vacuum our adversaries will certainly fill”. Additionally, he asked President Trump to rescind the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House until there is a cease-fire between Turkey and Kurdish forces.
Senator McConnell and other senators fear that if the United States withdraws from Syria then Russia “will gain more leverage” in the Middle East. The decision to withdraw from Syria could benefit not only Russia but the leader of Syria, Bashar al Asad. Asad’s regime has been responsible for starting and continuing the war since 2011. Since the beginning of the war, Asad’s list of allies has decreased to a very small amount. He depends on Russia and Iran for almost all resources, including the resources to continue the war.
Another major concern for the United States is the presence of terrorist groups in the country. The current measure by the Senate is to ensure that the President has to report to Congress that ISIS and Al Qaeda have been defeated and are no longer present in the country before the United States withdraws completely.
The House of Representatives voted on a separate resolution to oppose American withdrawal from Syria. Both Republicans and Democrats have voted against President Trump’s decision to move troops from Syria to western Iraq. The House vote was 354 -60, but there are still differing opinions in Congress.
Some people have concerns that President Trump could possibly be moving U.S. troops to not only western Iraq, but also to Yemen, or to assist Saudi Arabia in their campaign in Yemen. As of right now, it is unclear if President Trump will pull out all U.S. troops from Syria as he intended or if another policy will be implemented.