US Plans to Pull Out of Syria ASAP

Trump Declares Victory In Syria As U.S. Moves To Withdraw All Troops 'As Quickly As Possible'

Trump Declares Victory In Syria As U.S. Moves To Withdraw All Troops 'As Quickly As Possible'

Russian Federation called for the withdrawal today, saying the US's presence is a roadblock to a peace settlement in Syria.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump tweeted: "We have defeated ISIS in Syria".

"We've beaten them and we've beaten them badly. And now it's time for our troops to come back home".

Islamic State declared its so-called "caliphate" in 2014 after seizing large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

Mattis discussed the potential withdrawal with Trump a week ago, according to one official who declined to say how the defence chief reacted.

Currently, about 2,000 USA forces are in Syria, majority on a train-and-advise mission to support local forces fighting IS.

A United Kingdom defence minister has said Donald Trump is wrong to claim Islamic State has been "defeated" in Syria.

Trump has previously spoken of his desire to bring the troops home from Syria.

Lawmakers assailed Trump's decision, saying it could embolden Ankara to attack US-backed Kurdish fighters.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, said the president's decision was shortsighted.

Complete withdrawal would still leave a large U.S. military presence in the region, with 5,200 troops stationed in neighbouring Iraq.

WASHINGTON - The United States is planning a "full" and "rapid" withdrawal of USA forces from Syria as it nears the end of its campaign to retake all of the territory once held by Islamic State, according to CNN.

A 2017 airstrike in southern Idlib, Syria.

Trump Declares Victory In Syria As U.S. Moves To Withdraw All Troops 'As Quickly As Possible'

Another US defence official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said US military commanders had expressed concerns with the administration about what a rapid withdrawal would mean for US-backed local forces fighting ISIS. "These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement. Israel will learn of the timetable and manner of withdrawal, he said, and no matter what "we will safeguard the security of Israel and protect ourselves from this arena".

"It is a USA decision, we respect the decision made by the administration", Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said Wednesday.

"The notion that anyone within the administration was caught unaware, I would challenge that", the official said. "And I believe the decision that was made today was a grave error that is going to have incredible consequences that potentially have not been fully thought through".

The United States still has about 2,000 troops in Syria, many of them special operations forces working closely with an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF. Victory there would mark a decisive blow against the terrorist group.

"The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary", she added.

In a sign of possible rapprochement, the State Department said it had approved the $3.5 billion sale of Patriot missiles and associated equipment to Turkey.

"Nobody is declaring a mission accomplished".

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the USA of being in Syria illegally, labeling Washington an impediment to peace: "From being a factor in the fight against terrorism, the illegal U.S. presence in Syria is becoming a risky obstacle to the path to a settlement".

Evropolis, a Moscow-based company formed in 2016, reportedly struck a deal with the Syrian government granting it a 25 percent share of oil and natural gas produced on territory its mercenaries captured from ISIS past year.

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"Assad will not give one concession on anything, especially the constitutional committee", said Randa Slim, a fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington.

According to US estimates, the group oversaw about 100,000 square kilometers (39,000 square miles) of territory, with about 8 million people under Islamic State control.

In Syria, IS fighters are holding out in what remains of the pocket that once included Hajin, including the villages of Al-Shaafa and Sousa.

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