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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., argued in support of the amendment on the Senate floor, saying Trump's withdrawal announcement has already undermined U.S. credibility in the region.

The Republican leader of the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, has delivered a rare rebuke of US President Donald Trump in legislation set for a preliminary vote Thursday that questions Trump's decision to pull US troops out of Syria.

The move was a rare showing of opposition from Republican senators who consistently side with the president, revealing a possible breaking point for Senate Republicans who view some of the president's foreign policy approaches as unsafe. Since the December 19 pronouncement, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has resigned, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have raised fierce concerns over the abrupt move and the administration has backtracked on its plans. "'Perhaps it could put some of my colleagues with aims beyond the Senate at odds with parts of the far left" who want to withdraw US forces.

Trump's public broadsides against the intelligence community ― which follows his denials about the USA intelligence community's assessments regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Russia's intervention in the 2016 presidential election ― irked GOP leadership in the Senate this week.

One GOP senator, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, said he expected a "substantial number of Democrats" to vote for McConnell's amendment.

"Their bill would make election day a new paid holiday for government workers, and create an additional, brand-new, paid leave benefit for up to six days for any federal bureaucrat who decides they'd like to hang out at the polls during an election", said McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor.

The procedural vote to cut off debate meant that the amendment would be added to a broader Middle East security bill likely to come up for a final Senate vote next week. A month later, ISIS claimed credit for an attack in Syria that left four Americans dead.

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In December, over Trump's objections, the Senate voted to end United States military support for the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen and blame Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"What it really seems to be is a package of urgent measures to rewrite the rules of American politics for the exclusive benefit of the Democratic Party".

Trump said earlier on Thursday he would bring American troops home if a peace deal were reached to end 17 years of war in Afghanistan. "The way in which the president announced his Syria withdrawal, with no plan, without consultation with Congress or our allies or consideration of the implications for our partners is not in our interests".

"We've been there for too long and we've got to get out", Sanders said.

In addition to Sanders, 19 Senate Democrats and two Republicans voted against the nonbinding amendment. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, with backing from a US -led coalition, are battling to expel the last ISIS fighters from hamlets in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

The U.S. has been a large part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001.


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