Trump gives military four months to leave Syria

Trump Goes Wobbly on Threats

Graham said Trump was "thinking long and hard about Syria and how to withdraw the forces" after ensuring that ISIS is destroyed, that US-allied Kurdish forces are protected and that "Iran doesn't become the big victor of our leaving".

"I want to fight the war in the enemy's backyard, not ours". "We're not talking about vast wealth".

Mr Trump also pledged to protect the Kurdish population in areas under USA and Kurdish control in Syria at the moment. "Just doing what I said I was going to do!", he wrote.

The announcement also had shocked lawmakers and American allies, including Kurds who have fought alongside the USA against the Islamic State group and face an expected assault by Turkey.

Graham said he knew Trump was "frustrated" by his limited options in Syria.

USA troops have helped rid much of Syria's north-east of the jihadist group, but pockets of fighters remain.

Following the Kurds" liberation of Manbij from IS in August 2016, Turkey invaded Syria in a military operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield', capturing a swath of territory in the north. Mediation by Russian Federation and the U.S. prevented a direct conflict between the Turkish-backed militias and Kurds in Manbij at the time, but Ankara has continued to insist on a Kurdish withdrawal beyond the Euphrates ever since.

The report also comes after a senior Israeli official said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Trump to stagger the planned withdrawal of USA military forces from Syria over a lengthy period of time, rather than an immediate pullout.

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Last week, the YPG asked Damascus to deploy troops to the key city following US President Donald Trump's decision to pull American forces out of Syria.

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

"They can do what they want there, frankly", Trump said of Iran's presence in Syria. "Just doing what I said I was going to do!" the president said. Graham goes on to explain that during the President's recent stop in Iraq, his military commanders made it clear that ISIS is not "destroyed" yet, though they are on the ropes.

It was not entirely clear whether Trump was referring to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria or the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

Two people have resigned since the decision was announced - Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and a top USA official in the fight against IS, Brett McGurk. "We're not thrilled about that", he said. "I'm getting out, we're getting out of Syria-look, we don't want Syria".

Trump had initially ordered the military to withdraw personnel within 30 days when he announced his abrupt Syria pullout last month.

In response to the uproar, Trump national security advisor John Bolton will soon visit allies Turkey and Israel, which each have their own complex goals in Syria's multi-dimensional civil war.

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