Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is claiming that if President Trump pulls U.S. troops from Syria, it would turn into a “completely utter disaster.”
Partial transcript as follows:
RADDATZ: Senator Graham, this week also you heard President TRrump saying he wanted to pull our troops out of Syria. They clarified that somewhat. What do you think about doing that? I know it’s a different fight, it’s against ISIS.
GRAHAM Completely utter disaster to leave before the fight is done. Have we learned nothing that happens when you leave too soon and pulled our troops out of Iraq? ISIS came back. But President Trump made a speech in Riyadh, Martha, that was very important. He went to the Arab world and said two things: I stand with you against Iran, and I stand with you to defeat radical Islam. If we leave Syria by the mere passage of time, we undercut that policy. ISIS will come back. You’ll be giving Damascus to the Iranians. They’ll have a land bridge from Tehran to Beirut. Syria will be occupied by Hezbollah, Russia, Iran, a nightmare for our friends in Israel. You’ve got to stick with it. You need a holding force as part of a regional force. If Americans are not part of a holding force, ISIS will come back. And there is no strategy by the Trump administration to counter Iranian expansion, and you need a strategy to deal with Iran just as much as ISIS and the test of that strategy is in Syria.