The White House said today that the withdrawal of its troops from Syria has begun, after President Donald Trump proclaimed the defeat of the Islamic State (EI) group in that country.
“We have started to return the US troops home as we move into the next phase of this campaign,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
The spokeswoman recalled that “five years ago, the IS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate.”
However, he stressed that “these victories against ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition (against jihadism) or its campaign.”
Sanders said that the US will continue to work with its allies to “deny Islamist terrorists territory, funding and support,” and to avoid “any infiltration” within US borders.
He added that the country and its partners “are ready to rejoin at all levels to defend the interests of Americans wherever necessary.”
Earlier, Trump had stressed on Twitter that his “only reason” for remaining in Syria was the defeat of the IS, an objective that his government considers fulfilled after having snatched from the extremists almost all the territory they occupied in 2014.
“We have defeated the IS in Syria, the only reason to be there during the Trump presidency,” the president said on Twitter.
Local media outlets had earlier today, citing Pentagon officials, that Trump had decided to immediately withdraw from Syria the 2,000 soldiers who are fighting as part of an international anti-jihadi coalition.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayahu said he respects the US decision to withdraw from Syria and warned that his country will “protect” itself from the new situation.
Trump has repeated on several occasions that his priority in Syria is to eradicate the IS and has abandoned the idea of forcing a transition that forces the departure of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
According to the Pentagon, the IS only has 1% of the territory it dominated in 2014, when it proclaimed a caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
Even if you withdraw your troops from Syria, USA He would keep his soldiers in Iraq, which would allow him to launch attacks on Syrian soil. (EFEUSA) .-