McCain Took Secret Syria Trip To Discuss Defeating ISIS

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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GOP Arizona Sen. John McCain kept his trip to northern Syria last weekend to discuss how to drive the Islamic State out of Raqqa under wraps.

McCain, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, met with both U.S. military officials and Kurdish fighters to discuss how to best move forward, The Wall Street Journal reports.

His office confirmed the visit, telling the paper he  “traveled to northern Syria last week to visit U.S. forces deployed there and to discuss the counter-ISIL campaign and ongoing operations to retake Raqqa.”

The U.S. military reportedly helped organize the trip, which was his first to the area since 2013.

“Senator McCain’s visit was a valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq. President Trump has rightly ordered a review of the U.S. strategy and plans to defeat ISIL,” McCain’s spokesman told NBC in a statement.

The move comes as President Donald Trump is determining whether to ease restrictions on troops sent into area.

U.S. troops in Iraq are working to drive ISIS forces out of Mosul, the largest ISIS stronghold, in addition to stepping up the offense in Raqqa, the terrorist capital.

Following his trip to Syria, McCain reportedly met with President Recep Tayyip, who has encouraged the Trump administration to hold off on working with Kurdish forces in their fight against the terrorist organization, in Turkey.

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