'Iran can do what they want in Syria'

Posted January 03, 2019

How has he done in Afghanistan?

According to one Syrian Christian leader, America's presence there has been crucial to fighting ISIS, and they couldn't have won or protected their people without USA forces.

Military officials have scrambled to translate Trump's shifting directives and comments into actual orders for commanders in Syria and Iraq to carry out.

He said they would discuss how to best confront security challenges facing allies & partners in the region, "including the next phase of the fight against ISIS". In the letter, Mattis said he would step down February 28, but Trump later accelerated that to the end of the year.

Much of the criticism surrounding the President's decision to withdraw troops from Syria - a move he frequently mentioned both on the campaign trail and in office - has been tied to the possibility that a lack of U.S. troops could allow ISIS to regain some of its strength in the region.

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"... I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places". If the Kurds - which Ankara considers terrorists - were to actually leave the area, there would be "no job left" there for the Turkish military, Erdogan said.

Syria says hundreds of US-backed Kurdish fighters have withdrawn from the city of Manbij near the border with Turkey to take position to the east of the Euphrates.

President Donald Trump signaled Monday the U.S.is slowing its withdrawal of 2,000 troops stationed in Syria.

When Trump first ordered a drawdown within 30 days, his position provoked an outcry, including from some of his political allies like Graham, who said that such a hasty withdrawal would leave exposed US partners such as the Kurds, who are concerned about a possible attack from Turkey.

The president wanted to withdraw troops from Syria for a while, saying in April, "I want to get out" at a press conference, adding that "I want to bring our troops back home".

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Senator Lindsey Graham suggested the withdrawal had been slowed and he was now reassured of the president's commitment after meeting him on Sunday. It is threatening to launch an offensive against the YPG, igniting fears of significant civilian casualties.

United States commanders planning the withdrawal are recommending that YPG fighters battling IS be allowed to keep US-supplied weapons, according to United States officials.

Earlier Monday, Garrett Marquis, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told CNN that the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, and Ambassador James Jeffrey, the special representative for Syria engagement, would accompany national security adviser John Bolton on a trip to Israel and Turkey early next month to discuss the withdrawal.

"I think we're in a pause situation", the South Carolina Republican said outside the White House after lunch with the President.

The prime minister told the press ahead of the meeting-held in Brazil's capital after the inauguration of the country's new president, Jair Bolsonaro-the main topics of discussion was to be with the withdrawal of USA troops from Syria and Iranian attempts to establish a military presence in the war-torn country.

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