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Trump advisers urge against hasty American retreat from Syria
April 20 2018, 12:24 | Alexander Lowe
Retired Green Beret Commander: If US Leaves Syria, 'We'll Have ISIS 3.0'
The White Housesaid in a statement on Wednesday the U.S. military mission to eradicate IS "is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being nearly completely destroyed".
Trump said in a press conference on Tuesday that the United States was ready to leave Syria, suggesting that Saudi Arabia should help pay for troops to maintain stability in the region.
Trump reportedlysaid Tuesday that the us efforts in Syria should focus on defeating ISIS, including training local forces so that liberated areas remain secure.
A statement said the Islamic State (IS) group was nearly completely destroyed, and that the USA would consult its allies regarding future plans.
She also added that the U.S. expects "countries in the region and beyond, plus the United Nations, to work toward peace and ensure that ISIS never re-emerges".
Gen. Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command, said Tuesday there would be a military role in Syria even as the mission shifts from military operations to stabilization and reconstruction.
Mr Trump claimed that the fight against Islamic State was "almost completed" and said: "I want to get out".
Trump discussed Syria in a meeting with his national security team on Tuesday, which includes the presumptive secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.
"He wasn't thrilled about it, to say the least", an official told NBC News about Trump's response to the decision, which comes less than 24 hours after the President said publicly he wanted to bring troops home.
Brett McGurk, the USA special envoy for the global coalition against Islamic State, speaking alongside Votel at an event in Washington on Tuesday, said the U.S. fight against Islamic State, also known as IS, was not over.
"We are in Syria to fight ISIS", said Brett McGurk, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat IS, speaking Tuesday at the U.S. Institute for Peace at almost the same time as the president.
The top military commander for USA forces in the Middle East also indicated US and coalition troops could remain in Syria for some time to come. "Let the other people take care of it now", he vowed, in a speech.
Arab and Kurdish fighters with the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), pose for a picture as they prepare to move to the front line to battle against the Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, northeast Syria on July 22, 2017. "We get nothing out of it, nothing".
The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday that Israel voiced concerns over US plans to withdraw from the war-torn country, a move Israel fears will strengthen the Assad regime and its main patron Iran.
The US has a 2,000-strong contingent of soldiers in Syria, tasked with routing the remnants of IS and supporting several allied militias.
USA officials and foreign governments have been concerned that without a continued American military presence, IS could re-constitute itself or others could fill the void. Iran's continued presence in Syria is especially troubling to neighboring Israel, a USA ally that regards Iran as an existential threat.
Both Tehran and Moscow have deployed military forces to Syria to secure their own interests and to back up Assad in his now seven-year-old war against anti-government rebels.
The president ousted his secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, last month, and his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, is soon to depart after Mr. Trump made a decision to replace him with John R. Bolton. The latter has been the site of most recent USA airstrikes in Syria.
"Our goal is to continue to keep pressure on ISIS.and at the same time to continue to work through the other tensions that are very present here in northern Syria", added Votel. Iran's continued presence in Syria is especially troubling to neighboring Israel, a USA ally that regards Iran as an existential threat.