We spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. And you know what we have for it? Nothing.
sizeable forces in the country to support President Bashar Assad’s regime.
“Very soon — very soon we’re coming out. We’re going to have 100 percent of the caliphate, as they call it — sometimes referred to as ‘land’ — taking it all back quickly, quickly,” he said.
“But we’re going to be coming out of there real soon. Going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”
Asked whether the US would be withdrawing troops from Syria, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she was not aware of any such plan.
Asked on Friday whether US forces had been informed of a decision to withdraw or were preparing to do so, the spokesman for the coalition said he would not comment on future operations.
In emailed answers to Reuters, Col. Ryan Dillon said Daesh still held territory at two locations in Syria — near Hajjin along the Euphrates River and at Dashisha near the border with Iraq.
He said coalition offensive operations had been limited as a result of events in northwest Syria, where the SDF and YPG have been fighting a Turkish incursion targeting the YPG in the Afrin region.
“The coalition and the SDF continue to find opportunities to exploit ISIS (Daesh) weaknesses and conduct strikes against the remaining terrorists,” he said.
The US has more than 2,000 military personnel in eastern Syria, working with local militia groups to defeat Daesh while trying to keep out of Syria’s broader civil war.
Trump’s eagerness to quit the conflict flies in the face of a new US Syria strategy announced in January by then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — who has since been sacked.
Tillerson argued that US forces must remain engaged in Syria to prevent Daesh and Al-Qaeda from returning and to deny Iran a chance “to further strengthen its position in Syria.”
In a speech at Stanford University, he also warned that “a total withdrawal of American personnel at this time would restore Assad and continue his brutal treatment against his own people.”
But Tillerson has gone after being dismissed in a tweet. And Trump, who increasingly makes foreign policy announcements without seeking the advice of US generals or diplomats, wants out.