Top Republican Indicates Trump Rethinking Plans to Withdraw from Syria

The writer is a senior police manager  supervisor and has done his MPA from Columbia University New York

The writer is a senior police manager supervisor and has done his MPA from Columbia University New York

However, Mr Trump said he did want to "protect" US-backed Kurdish fighters in the country as Washington draws down its 2,000 troops, which would happen "over a period of time".

"I think we're slowing things down in a smart way", the South Carolina Republican told reporters at the White House, where he'd just sat for lunch with the President. So we have a lot to talk about today.

"And besides that, we're talking about sand and death, that's what we're talking about", he said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity to reporters in Rio de Janeiro as Netanyahu continues his state visit to Brazil, said the premier made the request during a recent phone call with Trump, after the USA leader announced plans to remove troops from the war-torn Arab country. Trump, in his December 19 pullout announcement, cited the same reasons, arguing that troops had no need to stay in the war-torn country.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus suggests that Mr Trump appears to be washing his hands of Syria and handing the whole job over to Russia, Turkey and Iran.

"I want to fight the war in the enemy's backyard, not ours", Graham said in an interview on CNN's Sunday morning State of the Union show.

Trump's abrupt decision on Syria stunned regional players, United States politicians of both parties and military leaders, who expressed surprise that such a major decision would be announced after apparently so little advance consultation, against the advice of his national security advisors - and on Twitter. "That's a nightmare for Israel", Graham said.

He said Netanyahu would further discuss the planned Syria pullout when he meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brasilia Tuesday, as well as during a meeting on Sunday in Jerusalem with US national security adviser John Bolton.

Syria to be readmitted to Arab League
Warming up to Assad is seen by some regional powers as a way of luring Syria away from the exclusive regional influence of Iran. Other Persian Gulf Arab states are expected to shift their positions and normalize ties with Assad's government.

President Trump said that the U.S. would continue to protect YPG terrorist in Syria even after they leave the country.

USA troops have helped rid much of Syria's north-east of the jihadist group, but pockets of fighters remain.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the fighters who withdrew from Manbij on Wednesday were not YPG fighters but belonged to other militias within the SDF.

However the Turkmen have expressed their desire to be set free from the dictatorship of the pro-US Kurds, not by Syria but by Turkey.

The senator's remarks after the White House meeting were considerably modulated from his tone earlier in the day, when he told ABC television's "This Week" that "if we leave (Syria) now, the Kurds will get slaughtered".

During a lightning visit to USA troops based in Iraq last week, Trump said the United States would no longer be the world's "policeman".

Kurdish Syrian forces at the weekend asked the Assad Government for protection against a Turkish attack on a flashpoint town.

The United States has about 2,000 troops - majority special forces - deployed in northern Syria to fight IS and reinforce anti-jihadist forces.

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