United States to withdraw from Syria, declares ISIS 'almost completely destroyed'
01:51, Apr 5, 2018
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The U.S. military mission to eradicate the Daesh terror group from Syria "is coming to a rapid end", the White House announced Wednesday.
Then, speaking beside the leaders of Baltic nations at the White House on Tuesday, Trump repeated that call, saying the USA will be making a decision "very quickly in coordination with others in the area as to what we'll do" and suggesting that if others, like Saudi Arabia, want the U.S.to maintain a presence in Syria, perhaps they should pay for it.
President Donald Trump has told his national security team that he is willing to keep American forces in Syria in the short-term, but made it known he wants U.S. troops to exit soon in a meeting on Tuesday, a senior administration official told CNN.
"That is our mission and our mission isn't over", he said, adding that the us presence in Syria remains "incredibly effective and strong". "That is our mission, and that mission isn't over, and we're going to complete that mission", McGurk said.
On Wednesday Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Trump took part in "a significant discussion" with his national security team on the United States commitment in Syria on Tuesday.
Mattis also told the president that the number of U.S. forces in Syria was gradually being reduced, but was unable to offer a more specific time-frame on when a withdrawal would eventually take place.
They are being fought by disparate groups of Kurdish and Syrian opposition fighters, with some U.S. and coalition support.
Trump described that mission as "close to 100 percent" accomplished, while Votel said that "well over 90 percent" of Syria had been "liberated" from the militants, even as "the situation continues to become more and more complex" and "other underlying challenges" become more apparent.
Author of a book on stability and other issues called Game Changers, Mann said a complete pullout would have lasting negative implications.
Respond to the Tuesday's comments by Trump that the US was on the path for withdrawal, Rep. Ro Khanna said they should be welcomed as they indicate the "neocon view of leaving troops there to deal with Iran and Hezbollah is not winning out".
The statement concluded: "We will continue to consult with our allies and friends regarding future plans".
The three have been working to find a political solution in Syria under the Astana process, which began past year in competition with the USA and UN-backed Geneva initiative.
Trump has used the $7 trillion figure many times, including during his campaign, although numerous experts put the figure at about half that, beginning in Afghanistan in 2001 and continuing through US military operations in Pakistan, Iraq and Syria. The military has carried out numerous operations in Syria against ISIS and other targets, according to the Department of Defense, and members of the US Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Army are active in the country.
Votel also indicated the USA could continue to have a military presence in Syria, and Iraq, even after IS is thoroughly defeated.
Arab and Kurdish fighters with the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), pose for a picture as they prepare to move to the front line to battle against the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, northeast Syria on July 22, 2017.
On Wednesday, as the White House pondered withdrawal, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani were meeting in Ankara to coordinate their next steps in Syria's seven-year-old civil war. The White House then froze $200 million in US assistance earmarked for Syria recovery efforts.
But questions remain over a US$200 million USA pledge to pay for this endeavour, and Trump has publicly suggested that Gulf allies like Saudi Arabia should step up to pay.
The White House said that the troops will stay in Syria until "the small ISIS presence" is eradicated.
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