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In a turn of events that can be called surprising yet expected, Donald Trump has talked about finally pulling out of Syria. According to senior administration officials, Trump is telling advisers he wants an early exit of US troops from Syria.
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) March 30, 2018
During a speech in Richfield, Ohio on Thursday, Donald Trump expressed his desire by going off-script about wanting to bring soldiers back and stop funding the current efforts in Syria to stabilize the current situation.
Washington spent trillions building up foreign countries while allowing OUR OWN infrastructure to fall into a state of total disrepair. No more! It's time to REBUILD, and we will do it with American WORKERS, American GRIT, and American PRIDE! pic.twitter.com/Q9rPZi2D2s
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2018
He said that based on allied victories against Islamic State militants, “We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon.”
“Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we’re coming out,” Trump said. “We’re going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”
The administration officials, have come out and said that this was indeed the President going off-script but he has talked to his advisers and many high ranking officials about why the US is still in Syria and what they intend to accomplish there.
Trump has made clear that “once ISIS and its remnants are destroyed that the United States would be looking toward having countries in the region playing a larger role in ensuring security and leaving it at that,” one official said. While this goal is nowhere near being accomplished, it’s not unlikely for Trump to pull out, either way, considering the US spent over $200 million in the stabilization efforts in Syria last year.
Russian mercenaries and Turks are fighting US troops in Syria allowing ISIS to regroup, and now @realDonaldTrump wants to abandon our allies in Syria. Is he bowing to Putin and his pro-Assad forces? Do we let ISIS win? LI can’t grasp his reasoning and I hope Mattis intervenes.
— Mueller, She Wrote Podcast (@MuellerSheWrote) March 31, 2018
According to another office, in case President Trump does decide to pull out from Syria, national security advisers have told the president that U.S. forces should stay in small numbers at least for a few years. This would ensure that the militants don’t start gaining strength again and to prevent Syria from becoming a permanent base for Iran. If the US does leave Syria, it will be up for taking for Russia and Iran which is likely to cause even more unnecessary grief in the already troubled nation.
Even if and that’s a big if, Trump does order for forces to be removed from Syria then top national security aides will need to have a strategy to pull out forces which we know doesn’t exist. According to a national security representative, they discussed Syria in a White House meeting recently and have no strategy to recommend to Trump going forward for withdrawing forces.
“So far he has not given an order to just get out,” the official said. About 2,000 U.S. troops are deployed in Syria.
Senior admin official says aides to Trump are puzzled by his comments yesterday that US will be pulling out of Syria “very soon.” “We are still trying to figure out what he meant about Syria yesterday,” the official said.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 30, 2018
Four officials at the State and Defense Departments and the CIA said on Friday that they were just as surprised as everyone else about the president’s remarks about Syria, which one senior intelligence official said: “appeared to be completely off the cuff.”