Sen. Lindsey Graham Warns Hasty U.S. Withdrawal from Syria Could Lead to ‘Iraq on Steroids’

Senator Lindsey Graham warned Saturday that a hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria could create an “Iraq on steroids,” saying he hoped that President Trump would slow the planned departure, according to Reuters. Graham made his remarks during a visit to Ankara, Turkey, where he also said he thought that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford was developing a plan with Turkish officials to move Kurdish groups away from the Turkey-Syria border. Trump unexpectedly announced in December that ISIS had been defeated in Syria, and that he had decided to remove U.S. forces from the war-torn region. U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS, largely Kurdish groups, are reportedly concerned that the withdrawal will enable Turkey to attack them. The U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, nearly a decade after the U.S.-led war began, enabled the rise of ISIS fighters. The spread of ISIS insurgents ultimately required the U.S. to intervene again, per Reuters.