Liz Cheney: Pulling Out of Syria Would Be ‘Counter To Our Interests,’ Allow ‘Safe Havens’ for ISIS

• January 6, 2019 12:53 pm


Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wy.) on Sunday said that she was glad to see the Trump administration slowing down the withdrawal process in Syria, saying that pulling out would be "counter to our interests" and help ISIS rebuild their operations.

Cheney, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, appeared on ABC's "This Week" where she talked about various topics, including Syria.

"Is the administration in the right place now on Syria?" Host George Stephanopoulos asked.

"I've said that the administration of the United States should not pull out of Syria. I've been very hopeful as I've seen reports that we are now going to slow that down," Cheney said. "We’ve got about 2,200 special operations forces there and they are conducting  crucially important work in terms of air support, in terms of artillery support."

She went on to say that it would be "really devastating" if the United States withdrew all of their special operation forces, especially if the Iranians were given free reign to establish a land bridge and dominate Syria.

"That would be counter to our interests. It would allow ISIS to begin to again, form safe havens potentially and it would not serve the interest of our ally, Israel, and others in the region, so I'm hopeful that we will in fact slow that down and that we will look at conditions on the ground and not make a precipitous withdrawal," Cheney concluded.

Trump announced shortly before Christmas last month that he considered ISIS defeated and that was instructing the Pentagon and State Department to plan for a withdrawal from Syria. While many of his supporters agreed with the move, some of his most ardent supporters in Congress voiced their opposition to the strategy.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) both released statements opposing the plan. Graham called it an "Obama-like mistake" and Rubio called it a "grave error."

Sen. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) was also critical of Trump's plan, urging him to "immediately halt any plans to withdraw US troops from Syria and to consult with Congress on a long-term Syria strategy."