Washington, Jan 1: US President Donald Trump will give the Pentagon about four months to withdraw the nearly 2,000 military personnel stationed in Syria, official reports said.
Backtracking from his abrupt order two weeks ago that, the military pullout within 30 days.
Mr. Trump tweeted that, troops would ‘slowly’ be withdrawn, but complained that he got little credit for the move after a fresh round of criticism from retired Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and reports from the departing White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, himself a retired Marine General, about the president’s impulsive decision-making.
Donald Trump said, “ISIS is mostly gone, we are slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time-fighting ISIS remnants.”
For a president who has looked to the military for affirmation throughout his campaign and presidency and bragged about stocking his cabinet with what he called “my generals,” his decision on Dec. 19 to withdraw quickly from Syria was a significant split from his military and civilian advisers.
The criticism from General McChrystal, who commanded American-led troops in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010, echoed longstanding denunciations by former senior intelligence officials, who have warned that Mr. Trump’s approach to national security is reckless.
But during a surprise trip to Iraq last week, Mr. Trump privately told the commander of American forces in Iraq and Syria, Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, that the military could have several months to complete a safe and orderly withdrawal, according to two United States officials. And on Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, told reporters that a “pause situation” on the troop withdrawal was in effect.
Mr. Trump added that the fight against the Islamic State would continue — “you can do two things at once” — and said “We have other bases in the general area. In particular, we have one in Iraq.”