Trump gives in to calls to slow down Syria troop pullout

Trump Goes Wobbly on Threats

But during a surprise trip to Iraq last week, Trump privately told the commander of USA forces in Iraq and Syria, Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, that the military could have several months to complete a safe and orderly withdrawal, according to two US officials.

President Donald Trump appeared to backtrack Monday on shock plans for an immediate pullout of United States troops from Syria, but said his drive to end American involvement in wars made him a "hero".

The immediate reason for Mattis's resignation was Trump's announcement that he's ordering U.S. troops out of Syria.

"I said, 'You know, I never said that I'm going to rush out, '" the President told Fox News Channel in an interview that ran on Monday.

The tweeted comment came the day after a senior Republican senator said Trump had promised to stay in Syria to finish the job of destroying the Islamic State group - days after he shocked allies, and his own military establishment, by saying troops were coming home.

Graham warned at the time that a reduction now of United States forces in war-torn Afghanistan risked "paving the way toward a second 9/11". "ISIS is mostly gone, we're slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting ISIS remnants", Trump tweeted.

"We want to protect the Kurds, nevertheless, we want to protect the Kurds but I don't want to be in Syria forever", the president said as he told reporters USA military would withdraw from Syria "over a period of time".

Despite this fact, Trump administration officials are casting the new timeline as a slowdown and an example of the President being reasonable after hearing pushback from the Pentagon and allies such as Sen. Jerry Boykin explains why America's withdrawal from Syria puts Christians in that region, as well as Israel, in a risky position.

"... I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places".

"They can do what they want there, frankly", Trump said of Iran's presence in Syria.

Trump added that the fight against the Islamic State would continue - "you can do two things at once" - and said, "We have other bases in the general area".

The President had declared victory over Isis (Islamic State) in Syria, though pockets of fighting remain.

The president has long campaigned for the removal of USA troops from the Middle East, arguing that there was no benefit for the country to be involved in the many conflicts there.

Graham, an influential lawmaker on national security policy who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is an ally of Trump, although he has opposed some of his foreign policy decisions.

"It is Fake News and Pundits who have FAILED for years that are doing the complaining". We will work closely together to make sure we get this right.

Another prominent critic of the move was retired USA army general Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and worldwide forces in Afghanistan.

National security adviser John Bolton is scheduled to travel to Israel and Turkey in January.

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