Pentagon rejects United States plan to leave Syria as 'rumors'

Will they or won’t they? US vague on withdrawal from Syria

Rodi Said Reuters

But Trump reiterated his desire for a rapid withdrawal of US troops from Syria during a press conference on Tuesday, even as senior USA officials in the campaign against ISIS were making the case for remaining there indefinitely elsewhere in the capital.

But the president has been bombarded by national security experts who caution against such a sudden removal of American troops, pointing to what occurred following United States military departure from Iraq in 2011 and following the initial defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. And, despite the White House's insistence that the group is "almost completely defeated", a string of renewed IS attacks in recent weeks has raised fears about a resurgence.

"These goals could take some time and allow the security bureaucracies an excuse to keep United States forces in Syria", Eland said.

Then-President Barack Obama opposed any USA military involvement in Syria, but he then acquiesced in it as an assist to a humanitarian mission at Singar and then Kobane, Brenner recalled.

"As in other issues, especially in foreign policy, Trump's pronouncements differ from the bureaucracies' actual policy on the ground", Eland said. They formed a key component of Trumps new Syria strategy, laid out by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a speech in January declaring it "vital for the United States to remain engaged in Syria".

It's a scenario that has played out repeatedly since Trump entered office past year.

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"I want to get out", Trump said.

Israel has said it can not tolerate the presence of Iranian bases near its northern border; a US evacuation would remove one of the main obstacles to Tehran's military expansion. He came away from a phone call Monday with King Salman confident that the king will agree to give the money, two US officials briefed on the conversation said. Trump had criticized Obama for setting deadlines for troop withdrawals from Iraq, saying it allowed enemies to hunker down and wait America out.

The defeat of the caliphate that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed in Syria is near, top Defense Department officials said at the Pentagon today. Others include preventing Iran and Russian Federation from entrenching there at the expense of USA allies including Israel and Jordan; preserving Turkey's place as a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally; preventing more humanitarian catastrophes, with the resulting destabilizing waves of refugees headed for Europe. According to the Institute for the Study of War and the American Enterprise Institute's Critical Threats Project, "Al more risky than ISIS", because although they share "the same aims as ISIS, including the intention of attacking and destroying the West", al-Qaeda is less focused on developing a physical caliphate and more on "insinuating itself inside Sunni insurgencies by harnessing popular grievances. while continuing to build capabilities that could be turned against the West". "We do a lot of things in this country".

This is a major concern for experts, at a time when the Assad regime and its Iranian and Russian allies increasingly appear to be on the path to victory in Syria's brutal seven-year civil war.

The Syrian Kurds, the most effective fighting force in Syria aligned with Washington, recently shifted to fighting Turkish forces in the area of Afrin.

"In contrast, the security bureaucracies want to hold Syrian territory captured from the Islamic State, use it as a bargaining chip in any peace negotiations, and train Syrian groups to "stabilize" it", he said. The Pentagon has warned that the distraction could give IS the reprieve it needs to regroup after four years of being pummeled.

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