Sen. Lindsey Graham flies to Turkey, meets with Erdogan to discuss US withdrawal from Syria

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday to discuss Syria as the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from the war-torn country.

The two met behind closed doors to discuss the creation of a “safe zone” in northeast Syria, according to reports.

Graham has raised concerns about President Trump’s plan to withdraw American forces from Syria, asserting the pullout would endanger Kurdish allies in the region and embolden the Islamic State terror group.

GRAHAM SAYS 'I FEEL PRETTY GOOD' ABOUT SYRIA AFTER LUNCH WITH TRUMP

“I hope the president would look long and hard about what we’re doing in Syria,” Graham said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week for William Barr, Trump’s attorney general nominee. Soon afterward, news broke that three U.S. soldiers and an American interpreter working for the Defense Department of Defense were recently killed by a suicide bomb in Syria -- an attack for which ISIS has claimed responsibility.

Trump declared in December that ISIS had been defeated, contradicting assessments from his own experts and prompting criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. The U.S. began airstrikes in Syria in 2014, followed by ground troops to battle ISIS and train Syrian rebels.

RAND PAUL, AFTER WH MEETING ON SYRIA AND AFGHANISTAN, SUGGESTS TRUMP IS COMMITTED TO PULLOUT

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS, both resigned after Trump's pullout decision.

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Erdogan was recently angered over American demands to not attack Kurdish fighters after the U.S. leaves Syria. He accused U.S national security adviser John Bolton of making a "serious mistake” in complicating Trump’s Syria drawdown with conditions.

Turkey views the Kurds as an offshoot of the Iraq-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a separatist group.

Fox News reporter Hollie McKay contributed to this report.