Humiliated Donald Trump agrees to keep USA troops in Syria

by Abel Hampton April 5, 2018, 0:21
Humiliated Donald Trump agrees to keep USA troops in Syria

In addition to carrying out air strikes against IS, the United States has deployed about 2,000 troops in Syria, including USA special operations forces who have advised the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and helped them recapture territory from IS.

But she said Wednesday in a statement that the USA remains committed to seeing that mission through.

Sanders added that the United States would "consult with our allies and friends" about the future of the military presence in Syria.

Trump said in a press conference on Tuesday that the United States was ready to leave Syria, suggesting that Saudi Arabia should help pay for troops to maintain stability in the region.

This commitment was lacking last week, when Trump triggered speculation of an imminent withdrawal by lamenting that America had wasted US$7 trillion (S$9.2 trillion) fighting in the Middle East.

United States officials say President Trump has been persuaded not to pull the military out of Syria immediately, despite his declaration last week that the USA would "be coming out of Syria very soon".

"There still are some areas where [ISIS] are present and that we will have to continue to operate on", U.S. Central Command head Gen. Joseph Votel said Tuesday at a U.S. Institute of Peace event in Washington.

Roughly 2,000 US troops are now in Syria.

The decision about troops came at a time when Mr. Trump's national security team is in flux, and has been divided over what to do in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation, and Hassan Rohani of Iran agree that the conflict can be ended "only through a negotiated political process", according to a joint statement posted on Rohani's website on April 4.

The mission is "very costly for our country and it helps other countries a helluva lot more than it helps us", Trump said.

The statement offered no timeline for a troop withdrawal, nor did it change the USA policy in Syria - which has been for the approximately 2,000 American forces there to train, advise, and assist Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against ISIS.

While the White House was indicating plans to get out of the country as soon as possible, the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran were reaffirming a commitment to unite against "separatist" agendas that would undermine Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"Military defeat of ISIS on the Syrian battlefield does not necessarily equate to defeat of the group", he said.

"There will be a statement shortly relative to the decision that was made", Coats said at a breakfast with defense reporters.

And Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the coalition against Daesh, stressed the fight against the terrorists was not over.

Despite Trump's claims, there have been reports that the United States military is planning to send more troops to Syria for the next step in the war against IS.

FILE - Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) chat with members of US forces in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria, April 29, 2017. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal talks.

The next three way summit will take place in Tehran, Erdogan said, but he did not indicate when that would be.


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