Photo, above: Musa, a 25-year-old Kurdish sniper, on top of a building in the destroyed town of Kobani, also known as Ain al-Arab, in Syria in January 2015

By Pela Giidae

In a surprise move, characteristic of the Trump administration, the President announced on Wednesday that he’ll be pulling all U.S. military personnel out of Syria, where troops have been posted since 2015 to work alongside Kurdish forces to defeat ISIS.

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The move runs counter to counsel from America’s top generals as well as President Trump’s own advisors and GOP allies in Congress, all of whom argued that an abrupt exit could destabilize the region and allow ISIS to regain footholds in the country.

Senator Lindsey Graham said he was completely “blindsided.” In a series of tweets, he slammed President Trump’s decision as an “Obama-like mistake.”

Senator Marco Rubio called it a “colossal mistake- a grave error that is going to have significant repercussions in the years and months to come.”

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Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, an Air National Guard major, said on Fox News he “deeply deeply fears the longterm ramifications” from the decision. In the segment with Rep. Kinzinger, Martha MacCallum from Fox News also pointed out that the decision is a victory for Turkey, Iran, and Russia, as well as a setback for Israel.

Sen. Ben Sasse called the decision a “retreat” and that “the high-fiving winners today are Iran, ISIS, and Hezbollah [and] the losers are Israel, humanitarian victims, and U.S. intelligence gathering.”

A few Republicans did back Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of the country. Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian who believes in global isolationism, said he was “happy to see a president who can declare victory and bring our troops out of a war. It’s been a long time since that has happened.”

But overall, criticism from his own party might have been more widespread than Trump anticipated. As Politico reported:

“The outpouring of angst from the president’s own party marked perhaps the most stern challenge to his foreign policy since he met with Vladimir Putin earlier this year and drew widespread condemnations for going easy on the Russian president. The Senate also recently rebuked the president over his reluctance to condemn Saudi Arabia for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

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