Donald Trump Signals Troop Withdrawals from Syria

President Donald Trump acknowledges applause as speaks during a conference supporting veterans and military families through partnership at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
CHARLIE SPIERING

President Donald Trump signaled Wednesday he would withdraw troops from Syria, declaring the defeat of the Islamic State terrorists in that country.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” he wrote on Twitter.

The president commented on Syria after the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported that Trump was again considering a full withdrawal of American troops from the country.

The Pentagon did not immediately address the plans for withdrawal in a statement.

“At this time, we continue to work by, with and through our partners in the region,” Col. Rob Manning told Breitbart News.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the victories over the Islamic State “do not signal the end of the Global Coalition” to defeat ISIS, but rather a transition.
“We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign,” she said. “The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders.”

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and other Pentagon officials have reportedly urged Trump to leave some forces in Syria, arguing that it would be a mistake to abandon allied forces in the region.

About 2,000 American soldiers are currently in Syria serving in a training and advisory role for Arab and Kurdish forces to fight Islamic State. In April, Trump also signaled a desire to withdraw troops from the country but ultimately backed down.

 

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