Oct 23 2019

Graham Statement on Syria

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the latest news on Syria.

“President Trump is correct that without sanctions being issued against Turkey there would be no cease-fire.  This cease-fire, if permanent, represents real progress. 

“If we can create a sustainable Safe Zone – that protects Turkey’s national security interests and prevents the ethnic cleansing of our Kurdish allies – that will be historic progress.

“It is important that the international community police this Safe Zone – not Assad, not Russia, not Turkey.  This can be accomplished by America providing air power to an international force, but not committing troops on the ground to control the Safe Zone. 

“By continuing to maintain control of the oil fields in Syria, we will deny Assad and Iran a monetary windfall.  By increasing production of the oil fields, we will be helping our Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allies who fought so bravely to destroy the ISIS Caliphate.  We can also use some of the revenues from future oil sales to pay for our military commitment in Syria. 

“It is imperative we continue to partner with Kurdish forces to prevent ISIS from coming back.  I do not trust or believe that Turkey, Russia, or Assad have the capability or the desire to protect America from radical Islamic threats like ISIS. 

“While I agree that America is not the policeman of the world, I firmly believe the American military is the most capable to protect America and should be used wisely to do so.  A wise use of American military power would be to have a small – but capable – military partnership with SDF elements to prevent the reemergence of ISIS and maintain control of ISIS held fighters. 

“To do this, America must also continue to control the skies over Syria.

“The President is correct to insist European nations take control of ISIS fighters, currently incarcerated, who originate from Europe.  

“Finally, the world at large needs to be more involved in the reconstruction of Syria and preventing the reemergence of ISIS, particularly the Gulf Arab states.”