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Mitch McConnell introduces resolution urging President Trump to 'rethink' Syria strategy

The Senate Majority Leader is joined by other top Republicans in opposing the president's decision to withdraw from the region

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to announce his introduction of a resolution urging President Donald Trump to "rethink" his strategy regarding northern Syria, saying it's even stronger than the House resolution of the same vein passed last week.

What are the details?

Sen. McConnell made it clear that he had the support of other top Republican senators, saying in his speech that the measure was backed by Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (Okla.), Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (N.C.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Sen. Jim Risch (Idaho).

Acknowledging the lower chamber's passage of a resolution last week, that condemned the "abrupt withdrawal of United States military personnel from certain parts of Northeast Syria," Sen. McConnell said his resolution goes further.

"I'm introducing a stronger resolution that acknowledges hard truths, and focuses on our strategic interests in the Middle East," the Senate Majority Leader said on the Senate floor. "Our resolution acknowledges the vital role that our Kurdish and Arab Syrian partners have played in rooting out and destroying the ISIS caliphate.

"It condemns Turkey's decision to escalate hostilities in Syria, warns against the abandonment of our allies and partners in Syria and urges President Trump to rethink his invitation for President Erdogan to visit the White House. It also acknowledges Turkey's legitimate national security concerns emanating from the conflict in Syria and the significant risk to the United States if such a strategically consequential ally were to fall further into Moscow's orbit."

Sen. McConnell continued, "It recognizes the grave consequences of U.S. withdrawal, the rising influence of Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And the escape of more than 100 ISIS-affiliated fighters detained in the region," adding, with emphasis, "We specifically urge the president to end — end — the draw-down."

Anything else?

McConnell also appeared to contradict President Trump on Tuesday, Politico reported, when he denied the president's claim that McConnell told him the much-disputed content of his phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "the most innocent phone call I've ever heard."

During a news conference, when McConnell was asked to corroborate the president's claims, the Kentucky Republican replied, "I don't recall any conversations with the president about that phone call."

One last thing…
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