President Trump has decided to order a rapid withdrawal of all U.S. ground troops from Syria, where they have been assisting local Kurdish and Arab forces fighting ISIS, according to several reports.
There are currently some 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria as part of Operation Roundup, the final push to eliminate ISIS is in its final stages. A defense official as saying the withdrawal is expected to occur as quickly as possible.
After the reports were published, Trump took to Twitter to declare: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”
The Pentagon did not immediately confirm the reports. “At this time, we continue to work by, with and through our partners in the region,” said Col. Robert Manning, a Pentagon spokesman on Wednesday.
A routine statement from the U.S. Central Command issued Wednesday morning made no mention of any change in policy, and noted the U.S.-backed offensive against ISIS is not finished.
The U.S. recently established observation posts in northeastern Syria in a move the reassure NATO ally Turkey that there was no threat from some members of the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey has labeled terrorists.
An earlier report from the Wall Street Journal said the U.S. military was preparing to withdraw its forces from northeastern Syria, following a call last week between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan this week threatened to launch an assault on Kurdish troops backed by the U.S.
If the plan is to withdraw all U.S. ground troops, it would mark a sharp reversal from statements made in September by national security adviser John Bolton, who said the U.S. would stay in Syria as a counterweight to the Iranian presence there.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.