President Donald Trump gives military 4 months to leave Syria

03 January, 2019, 03:59 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Trump Goes Wobbly on Threats

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.

Mr Graham had initially criticised the president's decision, but after the White House lunch struck a more conciliatory tone, saying: "I think we're slowing things down in a smart way".

"We talked about Syria". And besides that, I don't want - we're talking about sand and death.

Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the President, told reporters at the White House that Trump will reevaluate the withdrawal plan for Syria, although the SC senator told CNN later Sunday that the President had not reversed his Syria orders.

"Oh, we're withdrawing", he said, adding that it would happen "over a period of time". Trump, in his December 19 pullout announcement, cited the same reasons, arguing that troops had no need to stay in the war-torn country. "Just doing what I said I was going to do!"

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. That's a nightmare for Israel.

Graham, who as a member of the Armed Services committee has frequently visited United States troops in combat zones, was once a frequent critic of Trump but, reversing course, now frequently defends him and seems to have gained privileged access to the president's ear.

Turkey considers the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which now controls almost 30 percent of Syria, a terrorist group linked to fighting within its own borders.

The senator's remarks after the White House meeting were considerably modulated from his tone earlier in the day, when he told ABC television's "This Week" that "if we leave (Syria) now, the Kurds will get slaughtered". Graham goes on to explain that during the President's recent stop in Iraq, his military commanders made it clear that ISIS is not "destroyed" yet, though they are on the ropes.

In this photo from April 28, 2017, U.S. forces, accompanied by Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters, drive their armored vehicles near the northern Syrian village of Darbasiyah, on the border with Turkey. "I campaigned against the NEVER ENDING WARS, remember!", he concluded in the third tweet. The pro-US Kurds had asked for Syrian troops to be deployed first at Manbij, then throughout the North East of Syria, above the Euphrates.

Two people have resigned since the decision was announced - Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and a top United States official in the fight against IS, Brett McGurk.

"He has not reversed his decision", Graham said.

"But we want to protect the Kurds, nevertheless, we want to protect the Kurds". The State Department's Syria team led by James Jeffrey and Joel Rayburn and the president's national security adviser John Bolton are advocating a slow pullout, and the Pentagon is preparing a list of options for the president.



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