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U.S. Senate opposes withdrawal from Afghanistan

AT-KABUL: The US Senate voted on Monday to oppose the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Syria, breaking with President Donald Trump as he calls for a military drawdown in those countries.

The lawmakers, voting resoundingly in favour of the American military stay in the war-torn country, warned a precipitous pullout could let Al-Qaeda and Islamic State regroup there.

According to Al-Jazeera, a majority of 70 senators voted for the text that was opposed by 26. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate, sponsored the measure.

Only three of the 53 Republicans in the Senate opposed the amendment, which will eventually be incorporated into a broader security bill on the Middle East.

The measure says the terrorist outfits still pose a serious threat to the US, warning that a precipitous withdrawal could “allow terrorists to regroup, destabilize critical regions and create vacuums that could be filled by Iran or Russia.”

The amendment, which is nonbinding, will encourage co-operation between the White House and Congress to develop long-term strategies in Afghanistan and Syria.

In December, Trump said he would be pulling troops out roughly half of the 14,000 US forces stationed in Afghanistan. The decision, which is still unclear, stunned several US allies.

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