WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Alabama U.S. Senators Richard Shelby and Doug Jones are expressing concern over President Trump’s announced plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
The President made the announcement Wednesday on Twitter and followed up with a video declaring victory over ISIS in Syria.
“We have beaten ISIS, and we’ve beaten them badly, we’ve taken back the land,” Trump said.
The President said it was time to reunite those troops, an estimated 2,000, with their families, but lawmakers expressed surprise about the decision and suggested it came without consultation with the Department of Defense or senior advisers in the White House.
Jones was one of the lawmakers surprised by the decision.
“It’s very concerning, and we need to take a look at this,” Jones said. “It caught everyone up here by surprise. In fact, I think it caught most of the White House advisers by surprise, and we’re not sure where this came from. The decision, apparently made, it almost seems on a whim by the President.”
Reaction to the President’s plan has included the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis and praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Shelby was among members of Congress expressing concern.
“Although we cannot and should not police the globe, our commitment to democracy and stability in the Middle East region is of great national interest,” Shelby said. “I remain concerned with the threat that ISIS, and other malevolent interests in the region, pose to the safety of U.S. citizens and overall global security.”
Jones said plenty of questions remain and he expects Congress to take a closer look at the withdrawal plan in early 2019.
“I think you’re going to see the Armed Services Committee, you’re going to see the Intelligence Committee, looking a little bit more deeply into this to see what’s going on,” he said. “And there may be some action from the Senate and the House coming out, once we get back here in January.”
The White House has also announced that half the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, about 7,000 troops, will be withdrawn in the coming months.