Then there is that war in Syria….the conflict to defeat ISIS and the battle goes well…..less than two weeks ago Trump said that US troops would be coming out of Syria…..”very soon”…..to use his words.
And the world went batcrap crazy with speculation and of course as with everything that Trump says it had to be walked back…..
“I want to get out—I want to bring our troops back home,” President Trump said, referring to Syria, during a press conference Tuesday. But on Wednesday, the White House announced that US troops will remain in the country, the New York Times reports. Trump had said Tuesday that since “we were very successful against ISIS,” it was “time to come back home.” But in Wednesday’s statement, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that while “the military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed,” the US and its partners “remain committed to eliminating the small ISIS presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated.” A senior administration official tells Reuters that in a National Security Council meeting Tuesday, Trump agreed to keep troops in Syria longer, but not much longer.
The Washington Post, also citing a senior administration official, reports that on Tuesday Trump instructed military leaders to get ready to pull troops from Syria, though a timetable was not set; NBC News also cites a senior official who said Trump only “reluctantly” agreed to let troops remain for now. Reuters’ unnamed official predicted troops would only stay for a year or less. In the Times’ view, it seems that Trump’s top military advisers have convinced him that keeping the 2,000 American forces still in Syria is integral to ensuring ISIS doesn’t regain its foothold there. But the Post takes a slightly different tack, reporting that it appears Trump is still determined not to leave the ongoing military presence in Syria that top military advisers think is necessary. Trump surprised his advisers last week with a public statement that US troops would leave Syria “like, very soon,” and during the Tuesday news conference, he said that he recently told King Salman of Saudi Arabia that if the king wanted US troops “to stay, maybe you’re going to have to pay.”
The message is mixed…..are we in or out?
It is said that Trump is displeased with the message he is getting from his war planners…..so in or out?
The commander-in-chief and his national security team are sending mixed signals on U.S. policy in Syria. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said: “The primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS. We’ve almost completed that mission, and we’ll be making a decision very quickly, in coordination with others in the area, as to what we’ll do…I want to get out, I want to bring our troops back home.”
However, at almost the same time on Tuesday, senior U.S. officials speaking at the U.S. Institute for Peace in Washington reiterated the U.S. commitment to the military mission against ISIS in Syria. “We are in Syria to defeat ISIS. That is our mission and our mission isn’t over and we are going to complete that mission,” said Brett McGurk, U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
We reached out to a number of our experts with deep experience in Syria and the surrounding region to understand what’s at stake if the U.S. decided to withdraw militarily from Syria. Their thoughts are adapted for print below:
I was skeptical when I heard his original statement and nothing has changed that would have me believe that Syria is over soon…..not happening….not on the books by the M-IC.