mitch mcConnell 300WASHINGTON, D.C. (10/15/19) — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement regarding the situation in Syria:

“I am gravely concerned by recent events in Syria and by our nation’s apparent response thus far.

“Turkey is our NATO ally and has legitimate security concerns stemming from the conflict in Syria. But Turkey’s offensive against our Syrian Kurdish partners is jeopardizing years of hard-won progress in the fight against ISIS.

“For years, the United States and our Syrian Kurdish partners have fought heroically to corner ISIS and destroy its physical caliphate. Abandoning this fight now and withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria would re-create the very conditions that we have worked hard to destroy and invite the resurgence of ISIS. And such a withdrawal would also create a broader power vacuum in Syria that will be exploited by Iran and Russia, a catastrophic outcome for the United States’ strategic interests.

“Withdrawing American leadership from this pivotal region would not serve our nation’s short-, medium-, or long-term interests. It would only make a troubling situation much worse, not only for regional partners such as Israel and Jordan but for the United States as well.

“These are the reasons why I co-sponsored legislation earlier this year that warned against leaving Syria or Afghanistan prematurely. A bipartisan supermajority of senators supported it.

“I look forward to discussing what the United States can do to avoid a strategic calamity with my Senate colleagues and with senior administration officials when the Senate returns to Washington this week.”

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