The White House officially announced Wednesday morning nearly 2,000 U.S. troops are being pulled out of Syria.
"Five years ago, ISIS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate. These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released in a statement. “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign. The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders."
President Trump declared victory over ISIS in Syria before the announcement was made.
We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
On Capitol Hill, a number of lawmakers are slamming the move.
Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake. https://t.co/028NOsbyzT— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 19, 2018
With all due respect, ISIS is not defeated in Syria, Iraq, and after just returning from visiting there -- certainly not Afghanistan.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 19, 2018
President @realDonaldTrump is right to want to contain Iranian expansion.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 19, 2018
However, withdrawal of our forces in Syria mightily undercuts that effort and put our allies, the Kurds at risk.
A decision to withdraw will also be viewed as a boost to ISIS desire to come back.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 19, 2018
Really? Iran is rejoicing right now. We left Iraq, and had to come back. I would sure hope the President and his advisers are smarter than this. https://t.co/pPxSZt2hO0— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) December 19, 2018
This is simply not true. https://t.co/Jvie2NxgWz— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) December 19, 2018