Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday an amendment pushing for U.S. troops to stay in Syria and Afghanistan.
McConnell said he wants to amend a Middle East policy bill to "acknowledge the plain fact that al Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates in Syria and Afghanistan continue to pose a serious threat to our nation." He added the amendment "would recognize the danger of a precipitous withdrawal from either conflict and highlight the need for diplomatic engagement and political solutions to the underlying conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan."
McConnell's comments come a day after the Senate voted to advance a Middle East policy bill that includes new sanctions on Syria.
In December, President Donald Trump announced plans to pull American troops out of Syria, tweeting that ISIS had been defeated. Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed the order a few days later – a decision that prompted him to resign from his position. The president originally ordered the Pentagon to remove all U.S. forces within 30 days, but later agreed to give the DOD about four months. But on Jan. 6, national security adviser John Bolton told reporters that the U.S. would remain in Syria until remnants of ISIS are defeated and until Turkey guarantees the safety of Kurdish forces in the country.