Washington (AFP) – US President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to dial back a promise to withdraw US troops from Syria immediately, saying it was important to not allow Iranian influence to grow in the country.
Stating that troops would be coming home soon, Trump nonetheless said that the United States wanted to “leave a strong and lasting footprint” in the country.
“We don’t want to give Iran open season to the Mediterranean,” Trump told a joint press conference with his visiting French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
“We’re going to be coming home relatively soon. We finished at least almost our work with respect to ISIS in Syria, ISIS in Iraq, and we have done a job that nobody has been able to do.”
“But with that being said, I do want to come home, but I want to come home also with having accomplished what we have to accomplish.”