'We're Abandoning Them': Rubio Says Syria Pullout Will Lead to 'Slaughter' of Kurds by Turkey
Warns ISIS will reemerge as powerful insurgency.
Sen. Marco Rubio disputed President Trump's plan to remove U.S. forces from Syria, arguing that ISIS will reemerge as a "powerful insurgency" and Turkish forces will "slaughter" the Kurds in the region.
In a tweet Wednesday morning and in a subsequent Twitter video, Trump claimed victory over ISIS, explaining that was "my only reason" for supporting 2,200 U.S. troops' presence in the war-torn country.
Trump hit out at Graham in a tweet Thursday afternoon, arguing it's "hard to believe" the South Carolina Republican "would be against saving soldier lives" and saving billions.
So hard to believe that Lindsey Graham would be against saving soldier lives & billions of $$$. Why are we fighting for our enemy, Syria, by staying & killing ISIS for them, Russia, Iran & other locals? Time to focus on our Country & bring our youth back home where they belong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2018
Rubio told Dana Perino that once U.S. forces leave northern Syria, U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters will leave and return home to fight against an invasion by Turkey. He said that will leave the door open for ISIS to "reconstitute" itself in the area.
"I'm glad this is on the air and recorded so people can see it. ISIS is going to reemerge as a - maybe not the way they were before - powerful insurgency that can then carry out huge propaganda gains around the world, raise money, plot and/or inspire attacks abroad," said the former Republican presidential candidate.
He took issue with Trump and others arguing that U.S. forces cannot serve as the "world's policeman."
"This is a police action on behalf of the American people because we're their number-one target," he said.
Rubio said Turkey has been pressuring President Trump for months to stop partnering with the Kurds in northern Syria.
"They achieved what they wanted. They are going to slaughter these people. ... We're abandoning them," Rubio warned, predicting Iran will have "carte blanche" in Syria and it will lead to armed conflict with Israel.
Watch the interview above.