Trump Defends Decision to Withdraw Troops From Syria

03 January, 2019, 06:23 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Map showing territorial control in Syria at seven key moments in the war

Pompeo allayed Netanyahu's concerns about Trump's pullout from Syria, which is a source of concern for Israel, which is anxious about growing Iranian influence in Syria. "They're inside the 10-yard line in defeating ISIS, but we're not there yet".

"We want to protect the Kurds but I don't want to be in Syria forever".

Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally but fierce critic of the announced withdrawal, said after having lunch with the president Sunday he thinks "we're slowing things down in a smart way".

When he announced he was pulling troops from Syria, Trump said the withdrawal would be rapid. "I'm not thrilled about that, I'm not happy about it at all". "We will continue the same way as before this decision was made", Pompeo said.

President Donald Trump tweeted early Monday morning that any other president would be praised for eliminating ISIS and bringing troops back home from overseas, but that he faces criticism for doing exactly that.

"The results are FAR BETTER than I ever said they were going to be!"

Bolton's spokesman, Garrett Marquis, said in a statement Monday that Bolton will be joined in Turkey by Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and James Jeffrey, the secretary of state's special representative for Syria engagement. "ISIS is mostly gone, we're slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families", Trump wrote, in part.

Trump had earlier stunned allies - and prompted the resignation of his respected defence secretary, James Mattis - by abruptly announcing that the jihadists were defeated and that USA troops in Syria were ready to leave.

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The People's Protection Units (YPG), the main Kurdish militia in Syria, last week invited regime forces to deploy to the key city following a shock announcement that American troops would leave the country.

"We don't want to be taken advantage of any more by countries that use us", he said.

"Oh, we're withdrawing", he added, saying only that it would happen "over a period of time".

On Friday, Britain's foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, was less diplomatic, telling Radio 4 that Trump "makes a specialty of talking in very black and white terms about what's happening in the world".

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump's withdrawal plans and if there were any official changes to them.

After two hours, he emerged, saying Trump "understands the need to finish the job". Garrett Marquis, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, stated, "Ambassador John Bolton will travel to Israel and Turkey in early January to discuss the deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of US forces from Syria, and increased cooperation with the Turkish military and other partners".

On when USA forces would leave Syria, Trump said: "I don't want to be in Syria forever", adding that "Iran can do what they want in Syria, frankly".

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