John McCain secretly travels to northern Syria

U.S. officials have confirmed Arizona Republican Senator John McCain secretly traveled to Syria last weekend during a Middle East trip which also included brief stops in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Sen. McCain visited Kobani, a Kurdish-controlled city on the Syrian-Turkish border.  The Arizona Republican’s visit to the region took him to Saudi Arabia and Turkey; McCain met with Turkish President Reycep Erdogan and Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The trip to the northern Syrian town involved meeting with American military personnel and Kurdish militia.  The Kurdish troops, part of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), are affiliated with the Kurdish Worker’s Party, a group of which Ankara is locked in battle and which Turkey has declared a terrorist organization.

“Senator McCain 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. 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,” read a statement released by Mr. McCain’s office.

Mr. McCain’s previous trip to Syria in 2013 was marred by controversy when it was revealed images capturing McCain posing with Syrian Northern Storm opposition forces allegedly involved in the kidnapping of Lebanese Shi’ite pilgrims.

McCain later condemned the kidnapping and suggested the allegation he met with terrorists was a ploy concocted by Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.

 

[Breitbart] [Daily Mail] [Photo courtesy John McCain/Twitter]