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    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    McConnell Mulls Introducing Amendment to Stop US Pullout from Syria, Afghanistan

    © AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation to prevent what he called a "precipitous" withdrawal of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan before terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Daesh are defeated there.

    "My amendment would acknowledge the plain fact that al Qaeda*, ISIS[Daesh]**, and their affiliates in Syria and Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat to our nation", McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor.

    McConnell said his amendment, which he plan to introduce to a wide-ranging Senate bill on the Middle East, 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 stressed that his amendment would ensure the continued commitment of US forces until "vile terrorists" suffer an enduring defeat in both countries.

    READ MORE: No Conditions Reached for NATO Pullout From Afghanistan — Stoltenberg

    Moreover, McConnell emphasized that if the US exit the two countries before defeating the terrorists, the two conflicts would "reverberate in the United States".

    The comments mark a rare break between the Republican Senate majority leader and President Donald Trump, who has signaled that he intends to pull US troops out of both countries.

    McConnell said he would introduce the amendment to the "Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act", a sweeping package of measures that would impose new sanctions against Syria, boost defense spending in the region and punish activists who call for economic boycotts of Israel to protest its policies in Palestine, among other measures.

    The bill cleared a first Senate hurdle on Monday in a 74-19 vote, and the chamber is expected to decide on the final version of the legislation in the coming days.

    READ MORE: France to Repatriate 130 Daesh Fighters Detained in Syria — Report

    In December, the US-based media reported that Washington planned to withdraw around 7,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan. The reports came in the wake of Trump’s announcement regarding his intention to pull the US troops out of Syria since, according to him, the Daesh had been defeated.

    The White House, however, has dismissed the claims about Afghanistan, saying that Donald Trump had no such plans.

    *Al-Qaeda is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.

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


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