Lindsey Graham
Lindsey GrahamReuters

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has been one of the most vocal critics of President Donald Trump’s decision to move US troops out of northeastern Syria, appeared to change his stance on Sunday, saying he now believed “historic solutions” were possible.

Speaking with Fox News Channel, Graham said a conversation he had with Trump over the weekend had fueled his optimism that a solution could be reached in which the security of Turkey and the Kurds was guaranteed and fighters from Islamic State (ISIS) would be contained.

“I am increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years if we play our cards right,” Graham told the network.

Graham added that Trump was prepared to use US air power over a demilitarized zone occupied by international forces, adding that the use of air power could help ensure ISIS fighters who had been held in the area did not “break out.”

Turkey recently launched a military operation in northeastern Syria, in an attempt to push out Kurdish militias which are allies of the US but viewed by Turkey as terrorists.

The operation began three days after Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of US forces in northeastern Syria, with some arguing the move was an authorization for Turkey to invade the region.

Graham had expressed opposition to Trump’s sudden decision soon after it was made, warning such a move would be a “nightmare for Israel”.

Later, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria, Graham stated, “Could not agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu more. Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria attacking one of America’s most reliable allies – the Kurds -- is a nightmare for the US and Israel.”

Graham said in Sunday’s interview he believed the United States and Kurdish forces could establish a venture to modernize Syrian oil fields, with the revenue flowing to the Kurds.

“President Trump is thinking outside the box,” he stated. “The president appreciates what the Kurds have done. He wants to make sure ISIS does not come back. I expect we will continue to partner with the Kurds in Eastern Syria to make sure ISIS does not re-emerge.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)