USA to pull troops out of Syria within 100 days

Saul Bowman
December 20, 2018

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency", Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, without explicitly confirming an order to look to withdraw troops.

The decision is bad news for the Kurds.


Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this month that the United States needed to train thousands of local fighters to ensure a lasting defeat of the terror group.

"Coalition has liberated the ISIS-held territory, but the campaign against ISIS is not over", it added. In addition to the limited ground presence in Syria, the USA also has conducted air strikes against the Islamic State since 2014; from December 9 to December 15, for example, the US -led coalition conducted more than 200 strikes in Syria, according to the Pentagon.

The decision will fulfill Trump's long-stated goal of bringing troops home from Syria, but military leaders have pushed back, arguing that the IS group remains a threat and could regroup as it battles in Syria's long-running civil war.

Trump, taking to his favorite medium of Twitter, declared the defeat of the Islamic State extremist movement, which he said was the sole reason for the presence of 2,000 troops in Syria.

Finally, after declaring victory one last time, Trump said that's the way we want it and pointing to the heavens, "that's the way THEY want it".

Syria has been in a state of conflict since 2011, with numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations fighting the Syrian Arab Army in an attempt to topple the government of Bashar Assad. Russia's position has always been that United States forces should not be in Syria.

While the YPG has spearheaded Washington's fight against IS, US support has strained relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

A complete withdrawal of USA troops from Syria would still leave a sizeable U.S. military presence in the region, including about 5,200 troops across the border in Iraq. Russian Federation has long described the US mission in Syria as illegal because it wasn't approved by the Assad government. The administration had been preparing to host a meeting of coalition foreign ministers at the State Department early next year.

News of the planned withdrawal was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

"History is often a lesson in those discussions", she said.

Last week, the US -led coalition issued a statement saying there would be no change to its mission in Syria.

The US has forces in Iraq ready to launch attacks in Syria if necessary. In the years that followed, the USA began partnering with Syrian ground forces to fight the extremists.

"This move also totally cedes influence to America's adversaries".

"In fact, with President Trump promising to the American people he would act only in the national interest- and that US forces have accomplished their objective to defeat the Islamic State - there was no reason for them to stay any longer", Kazianis said in a statement to VOA. Elaborating in a Facebook video, Rubio said that "I know that all of us would view that as a positive step in terms of the ability to sort of bring our servicemen and women back from the Middle East in a place where they are now engaged". "There may be a new mechanism for resolving the Syrian crisis" based on political processes and United Nations resolutions.

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