US Senate rebukes Trump | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 06, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:58 PM, February 05, 2019

SYRIA, AFGHANISTAN TROOPS WITHDRAWAL

US Senate rebukes Trump

  • US asks nations to repatriate jihadists as it leaves Syria

  • Erdogan says no satisfactory plan yet on north Syria safe zone

 

 

 

 

The Republican-led US Senate backed largely symbolic legislation on Monday that broke with President Donald Trump by opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

The Senate voted 70-26 in favor of a non-binding amendment, drafted by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying it was the sense of the Senate that Islamist militant groups in both countries still pose a "serious threat" to the United States.

The amendment acknowledged progress against Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warned that "a precipitous withdrawal" could destabilise the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russia.

It called on the Trump administration to certify conditions had been met for the groups' "enduring defeat" before any significant withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan.

In another development, US urged other countries Monday to bring home hundreds of Islamic State fighters captured in Syria, a delicate issue for allies such as France and Britain as Trump withdraws troops.

Washington drew a line on the jihadists two days before foreign ministers from Europe and the Middle East gather in the US capital for talks on how to fight the Islamic State group, also known as IS, once the US military presence ends.

US allies have been grappling for weeks with what to do with foreign fighters detained in the war-ravaged country by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who have warned that they may not be able to guard their jails once US troops leave.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he had not yet seen an acceptable plan from the United States for the creation of a safe zone in northeastern Syria, three weeks after President Donald Trump suggested establishing the zone.

Turkey wants to set up the safe zone with logistical support from allies and says it should be cleared of the US-backed Kurdish YPG militia which Ankara considers a terrorist group.

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