Trump softens Syria pullout schedule but claims 'hero' status

Trump softens Syria pullout schedule but claims 'hero' status

Trump softens Syria pullout schedule but claims 'hero' status

President Trump said that the U.S. would continue to protect YPG terrorist in Syria even after they leave the country.

Arab states, including some that once backed rebels against President Bashar al-Assad, are seeking to reconcile with him after decisive gains by his forces in the war, aiming to expand their clout in Syria at the expense of non-Arab Turkey and Iran.

Mr Trump also pledged to protect the Kurdish population in areas under United States and Kurdish control in Syria at the moment.

The senior senator said he agreed with Trump on the necessity of the pullout, adding that he felt reassured over the president's commitment to defeating the ISIS terrorist group.

During a lightning visit to USA troops based in Iraq last week, Trump said the United States would no longer be the world's "policeman". Trump, in his December 19 pullout announcement, cited the same reasons, arguing that troops had no need to stay in the war-torn country. "I never said I'm getting out tomorrow".

US-backed Kurdish militia has begun to withdraw from Manbij in northern Syria, inviting the Syrian army to move in as Turkey masses troops on the border. "We're slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting ISIS (Islamic State) remnants", he said on Twitter on Monday.

Trump's comments come a day after Republican Sen.

"Military officials have declined to specify the timing of the departure, partly for operational security reasons and partly because many details are still quite fluid, and officials recognize that Mr. Trump could change his mind at any moment and speed up the departure".

It prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to step down, and the USA envoy to the coalition fighting Islamic State militants resigned in protest.

Trump did not provide a timetable for the planned military exit from Syria, which he announced last month against the advice of top national security aides and without consulting lawmakers or USA allies participating in anti-ISIS operations.

He said: "I shouldn't be popular in Europe".

On Sunday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who had expressed concern about Trump's pullout, emerged from a two-hour lunch meeting with the president to say Trump 'understands the need to finish the job'.

Following the announcement that US Troops would be pulled out of Syria, Turkey planned a military operation against pro-US Kurds.

"The last thing in the world we want is a war for Turkey and the Kurds", Graham said. It has been freed by pro-US Kurds supported by the International Coalition.

Netanyahu said he was happy to meet Pompeo for the second time in a month, saying they had "a lot to discuss" about their "common aims".

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