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McConnell splits with Trump on Syria pullout

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is opposing President Donald Trump’s plan to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria. It’s a rare policy split between the Senate’s top Republican and Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also against Trump’s decision. But the California Democrat is using far stronger language than McConnell.

McConnell says an early U.S. withdrawal “would only benefit Russia, Iran” and Syrian President Bashar Assad, who’s waged an eight-year civil war against Syrian opposition forces. The Kentucky Republican says it would make it easier for ISIS to rebuild. McConnell says U.S. interests are not well served by “retreat or withdrawal.”

Pelosi says a withdrawal is “reckless” and would “betray” Kurds who have helped fight ISIS. She calls it “a foolish attempt to appease an authoritarian strongman” — a seeming reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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