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McConnell warns about ‘strategic calamity’ in U.S. pullout in Syria

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria threatens a “strategic calamity” and “catastrophic outcome” for American interests in the region.

Without mentioning President Donald Trump, the Kentucky Republican used a written statement Monday to criticize Trump’s recent decision to pull U.S. forces from the area.

McConnell says he is “gravely concerned” about the move. It was his strongest criticism of Trump’s move and underscores near-solid bipartisan opposition in Congress.

McConnell says the withdrawal would let the Islamic State group rebuild and would boost Iran’s and Russia’s influence in the region. He said he anticipates discussing the problem with lawmakers and senior administration officials.

Turkish troops have launched attacks against Syrian Kurds, who had been the leading U.S. ally against the Islamic State.