Chopping-Changing: Trump Wants to Keep Military Presence in Syria After All

Published March 6th, 2019 - 09:33 GMT
A convoy of U.S. military vehicles near Syria's northern city of Manbij on Dec. 30, 2018.. (AFP)
A convoy of U.S. military vehicles near Syria's northern city of Manbij on Dec. 30, 2018.. (AFP)

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he agrees with the decision to keep a military presence in Syria.

His comments come two months after he abruptly announced Washington would be pulling all forces from the region.

NBC News obtained a copy of a letter sent by a group of lawmakers to Trump, which included a written response from the president.

The Feb. 22 letter applauded the decision by the president to keep a "small American stabilizing force" along with "ground forces from our European allies" in the area, to prevent the resurgence of the Daesh terror group.

"Like you, we seek to ensure that all of the gains made in Syria are not lost, that ISIS never returns, that Iran is not emboldened, and that we consolidate our gains and ensure the best outcome in Geneva for American interests," read the letter, referring to the Daesh by an alternative name.

"I agree 100%. ALL is being done," Trump wrote in response, directly writing on the letter and signing it.

In December, Trump announced plans to withdraw all 2,000 American troops from the war-weary country, saying the U.S.-led coalition had succeeded in militarily defeating Daesh.

Then, last month the Trump administration backtracked, saying some 200-400 troops would remain in Syria as part of a peacekeeping effort.

U.S. military personnel have since said that a couple hundred troops will be remaining in the region, with forces staying in northeast Syria to create a "safe zone" as well forces being at the al-Tanf garrison in southern Syria.

Last week, while speaking to U.S. troops at the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, Trump said that 100 percent of Daesh territory had been taken over.

This article has been adapted from its original source.    


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