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US military vehicles in Syria's northern city of Manbij US military vehicles in Syria's northern city of Manbij  (AFP or licensors)

US slowing Syria troop withdrawal, says senator

US President Donald Trump remains committed to defeating so-called Islamic State in Syria according to a senior American politician.

By Nathan Morley

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he was reassured that President Donald Trump is committed to defeating Islamic State, despite planning to withdraw US troops from Syria.

"I think we're in a pause situation where we are re-evaluating what's the best way to achieve the president's objective of having people pay more and do more," Mr. Graham told reporters.

He had warned that removing all American forces from Syria would hurt national security by allowing Islamic State to rebuild – and betray US-backed Kurdish fighters.

Graham said he would ask Trump to slow down the troop withdrawal, which was announced earlier this month and drew widespread criticism.

Last week, Brett McGurk, who acts as the American-appointed envoy to the global coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State group, left his post in protest over Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops.

The White House has yet to comment on Mr Graham's remarks.

31 December 2018, 17:00