Senior Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has paid a surprise visit to the northern Syrian town of Manbij and told Syrian allies there that it’s important that American troops remain in the area.
A recent Turkish-American deal has eased tension between the two NATO allies over Manbij, which is administered by U.S-backed Kurdish-led forces Ankara considers terrorists.
Under the deal, which has unnerved Washington’s Syria allies, the Kurdish militia now in the town would withdraw from Manbij. U.S. President Donald Trump has said he wants U.S. troops to return home.
Graham said it would “be terrible” if Americans leave.
He told a group of local officials in a video broadcast by the Manbij-based Furat FM TV on Monday that he’ll tell Trump it’s “important that we stay here to help you.”