21:19 GMT14 April 2021
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    Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters on Sunday that US President Donald Trump is "reconsidering" the planned pullout of troops from Syria after the two met for a two-hour lunch.

    Graham addressed reporters, telling them that he is feeling "pretty good about where we're headed" in Syria after Trump had announced his decision to withdraw troops, a move that led to the resignation of Defence Secretary James Mattis.

    READ MORE: ‘No Wall, No Deal’: Lindsey Graham Gives Ultimatum to House Minority Leader

    "[Trump] promised to destroy ISIS. He's going to keep that promise", Graham said. "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".

    Earlier on Sunday, Graham called on Trump to rethink his decision to remove US troops from Syria in an interview broadcast on CNN's "State of the Union".

    “If we leave now, the Kurds are going to get slaughtered", Graham told host Dana Bash, adding that Trump had discussed the matter with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.

    “We're not the policemen of the world here. We're fighting a war against ISIS. They're still not defeated in Syria. I'm asking the president to make sure that we have troops there to protect us. Don't outsource our national security to some foreign power. If we leave now, the Kurds are going to get into a fight with Turkey, they could get slaughtered", Graham added.

    The senator also rejected President Barack Obama's justification for pulling troops out of Iraq in 2011 — a move widely credited with allowing the rapid rise of the terrorist activity in the Middle East — as a "bunch of bullsh--, pardon my French".

    “Everything we're dealing with today falls on Obama's watch", Graham added. "He's the one that withdrew from Iraq".

    Graham later tweeted that he had gained reassurances from the US president that any withdrawal from Syria will ensure that Daesh forces are permanently destroyed, “Iran doesn’t fill in the back end” and that the US’s Kurdish allies are protected.

    Washington announced on 19 December the withdrawal of its troops from Syria within 60 to 100 days. US President Donald Trump justified the pullout by stating that the American troops had achieved their goal of defeating Daesh* in the Arab country.

    The decision was not welcomed by some US officials and was followed by two resignations — US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, who announced that his views were no longer aligned with Trump's, and Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the US coalition in Syria.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries


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