President Donald Trump has told U.S. military leaders to begin making plans troops from Syria. But there is no timeline yet for the withdrawal, according to the Washington Post, which cited a senior administration official on Wednesday.
However, a senior administration official told NBC that Trump reluctantly agreed to keep troops in Syria for an unspecified amount of time in order to defeat ISIS. It is unclear whether or not the senior official is the same source for both publications.
“He wasn’t thrilled about it, to say the least,” the official told NBC.
The White House also released a statement on Wednesday that read:
“The military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed. The United States and our partners remain committed to eliminating the small ISIS presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated. We will continue to consult with our allies and friends regarding future plans. We expect countries in the region and beyond, plus the United Nations, to work toward peace and ensure that ISIS never re-emerges.”
A non statement statement from @WhiteHouse on Syria: ISIS is rapidly being defeated…but we’re committed to eliminating the small contingent left. No mention of withdrawal or future US posture pic.twitter.com/7aIKDD7WZO
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) April 4, 2018
The President has said more recently that he wants to remove troops from Syria, but this counters reports that the military is considering actually sending additional troops to Syria.
CNN has learned that the US military is discussing sending more troops to Syria; US President Trump remarked last Thursday that the US would be “coming out of Syria like very soon” https://t.co/dAZ4Uh8mkx pic.twitter.com/txdbVbzRKQ
— CNN (@CNN) April 3, 2018
“I want to get out,” Trump said Tuesday. “I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation.”
There are about 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 4, 2018
Advisors have told the President that it is not wise to hastily withdraw troops from Syria.
On Saturday, an American soldier supporting Operation Inherent Resolve died after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his patrol in Syria.
That soldier was Master Sgt. Johnathan J. Dunbar, 36, of Austin, Texas, who was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He died from injuries sustained during the IED attack, the Pentagon said.
Two U.S.-led Coalition personnel were killed on Thursday, and five others wounded, in Mangij, Syria.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.