Senate Takes Stand Against Troop Withdrawal

McConnell Amendment Says the Fight is Not Over

February 1, 2019

Washington, DC — Americans for a Free Syria (AFS) applauded the Senate for taking a stand against the planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. Leader McConnell’s amendment, which advanced 68-23 yesterday, acknowledges that the United States faces continuing threats in Syria and that the precipitous withdrawal of United States forces could endanger hard-won gains and U.S. national security.

“The U.S. Senate took a strong, bipartisan stand against a reckless withdrawal that fails to account for civilian safety and protect gains made by U.S. and partner forces against our enemies. We applaud Leader McConnell and Senators on both sides of the aisle for coming together in support of our national security interests and the protection of civilians in Syria,” said Lina Murad, President of Americans for a Free Syria. “Unfortunately, what happens in Syria doesn’t stay in Syria. U.S. troops are needed to ensure ISIS is defeated permanently and to stop Iran’s takeover of Syria. The Trump Administration must also engage more seriously to address the root cause of instability and terror in Syria: the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Reinstating and implementing stabilization funding in Syria is crucial to that effort.”

The amendment to S. 1 acknowledges the significant progress made against al-Qaeda and ISIS but “warns that a precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from the on-going fight against these groups, without effective, countervailing efforts to secure gains…could allow terrorists to regroup, destabilize critical regions, and create vacuums that could be filled by Iran or Russia, to the detriment of United States interests and those of our allies.” The amendment calls on the Administration to conduct a thorough review of both military and diplomatic strategies in Syria and Afghanistan.

Senators who supported the measure include:

  • Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Bennet (D-CO)
  • Blackburn (R-TN)
  • Blumenthal (D-CT)
  • Boozman (R-AR)
  • Braun (R-IN)
  • Burr (R-NC)
  • Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Capito (R-WV)
  • Carper (D-DE)
  • Casey (D-PA)
  • Cassidy (R-LA)
  • Collins (R-ME)
  • Coons (D-DE)
  • Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Cortez Masto (D-NV)
  • Cotton (R-AR)
  • Cramer (R-ND)
  • Crapo (R-ID)
  • Daines (R-MT)
  • Duckworth (D-IL)
  • Enzi (R-WY)
  • Ernst (R-IA)
  • Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Fischer (R-NE)
  • Gardner (R-CO)
  • Graham (R-SC)
  • Grassley (R-IA)
  • Hassan (D-NH)
  • Hawley (R-MO)
  • Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
  • Inhofe (R-OK)
  • Johnson (R-WI)
  • Jones (D-AL)
  • Kaine (D-VA)
  • King (I-ME)
  • Lankford (R-OK)
  • Manchin (D-WV)
  • McConnell (R-KY)
  • McSally (R-AZ)
  • Menendez (D-NJ)
  • Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Murray (D-WA)
  • Peters (D-MI)
  • Portman (R-OH)
  • Reed (D-RI)
  • Risch (R-ID)
  • Roberts (R-KS)
  • Romney (R-UT)
  • Rosen (D-NV)
  • Rounds (R-SD)
  • Rubio (R-FL)
  • Sasse (R-NE)
  • Scott (R-FL)
  • Scott (R-SC)
  • Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Shelby (R-AL)
  • Sinema (D-AZ)
  • Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Tester (D-MT)
  • Thune (R-SD)
  • Tillis (R-NC)
  • Toomey (R-PA)
  • Warner (D-VA)
  • Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Wicker (R-MS)
  • Young (R-IN)

Americans for a Free Syria (AFS) is a non-partisan, non-profit that advocates for human rights, the rule of law and U.S. national security interests in Syria.