Sen. Chris Coons released a statement Dec. 19 on the Donald Trump administration’s surprise announcement that it intends to quickly withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.

“I am alarmed by the administration’s abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. The administration must clearly explain to the American people why a withdrawal serves our national interests, strengthens our allies, prevents the re-emergence of ISIS and counters the expansion of Iranian influence in the Middle East,” said Coons.

“Just a few weeks ago, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, argued that the U.S. needed to remain in Syria to train local partner forces, continue stabilization efforts, and decisively defeat ISIS. Surprise announcements and rash decisions make for bad foreign policy,” said Coons.

“In April, I led a bipartisan letter to President Trump, urging him to sustain a U.S. force presence in Syria and work with Congress on a comprehensive strategy. The Trump administration has supposedly made countering Iran the centerpiece of its Middle East strategy. Yet this decision will allow Iran to increase its influence in Syria, threaten Israel and increase risks to our Arab and Kurdish partners,” said Coons.

“The administration owes Congress and the American people more information about this decision, and I look forward to getting briefed by top administration officials soon,” said Coons.