Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is preparing to introduce an amendment to a Middle East policy bill that would amplify the threat of al-Qaeda and ISIS in an attempt to block President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw all American troops from Syria.
“While it is tempting to retreat to the comfort and security of our own shores, there is still a great deal of work to be done, and we know that left untended, these conflicts will reverberate right here, in our own cities,” the Republican leader said on January 29, according to U.S. News.
Last month, the White House announced that all troops will be withdrawn from Syria once the battle against ISIS is over. The surprise decision led to a backlash from the mainstream media, prominent politicians and even senior officials in Trumps’ administration. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and special envoy for the global coalition to defeat ISIS Brett McGurk resigned in protest.
McConnell said that the amendment that will be presented soon is a result of the claims made by head military and intelligence officials about the threat of ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan.
The senator was likely referring to the recent Intelligence Chiefs testimony to the Congress, during which Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned that a reduction in counter-terrorism efforts would embolden the terrorist group.
McConnell’s amendment has been the most serious attempt to block the withdrawal from Syria so far. However, it remains unclear if it would pass.