The Latest: Sen. Lindsey Graham to discuss Turkey sanctions with Trump

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FILE – In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., takes questions from reporters at the Capitol in Washington. Congressional Republicans have spent most of the past two years studiously avoiding any public fights with President Donald Trump, either out of party loyalty or fear of being on the wrong end of a presidential tweetstorm. That public show of unity ended emphatically when Trump announced he would be withdrawing U.S. forces from northern Syria in advance of an impending Turkish military operation against Syrian Kurdish militia fighters. Graham, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas all joined Democratic colleagues in publicly criticizing the idea, with Graham even going on Fox News to label the decision “short-sighted and irresponsible.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States and the military withdrawal from northern Syria (all times local):

9:40 a.m.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham says he’ll meet with President Donald Trump on Monday and plans to discuss sanctions against Turkey over its invasion into Syria.

The South Carolina senator last week was critical of Trump’s announcement about removing U.S. troops from Syria. On Monday, Graham blamed Turkey for the turmoil in Syria, saying Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) “made the biggest mistake of his political life” and “brought this on himself.”

Graham tells Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” there will be “crippling sanctions” from Congress that will “break” Turkey’s economy and “crush Erdogan until he stops the bloodshed.” Graham says Republicans, Democrats and the Trump administration will hit Erdogan “like a ton of bricks.”

Syrian Kurdish forces previously aligned with the U.S. say they’ve reached a deal with Syrian President Bashar Assad to help fend off Turkey’s invasion.

Graham says the alliance between the Kurds and Assad is “not good” for the United States. He says “Assad equals Iran” and “The last thing you want to do is to let Iran become more powerful in northeastern Syria.”

In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, smoke billows from fires on targets in Tel Abyad, Syria, caused by bombardment by Turkish forces, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. The United Nations says at least 130,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in northeastern Syria with many more likely on the move as a Turkish offensive in the area enters its fifth day. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

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12:30 a.m.

The United States appears to be heading toward a full military withdrawal from Syria amid growing chaos , cries of betrayal and signs that Turkey’s invasion could fuel a broader war.

A Turkish youth celebrates with a national flag after news about Syrian town of Tal Abyad, in Turkish border town of Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency, meanwhile, said Turkey-backed Syrian forces have advanced into the center of a Syrian border town, Tal Abyad, on the fifth day of Turkey’s military offensive. (Ismail Coskun/IHA via AP)

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday that President Donald Trump had directed U.S. troops in northern Syria to begin pulling out “as safely and quickly as possible.” He did not say Trump ordered troops to leave Syria, but that seemed like the next step in a combat zone growing more unstable by the hour.

Esper, interviewed on two TV news shows, said the administration was considering its options.

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