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US Senate breaks from Trump with Syria troop vote

06 February, 2019, 07:10 | Author: Taylor George
  • US President Donald Trump says

The report, which covers October through December 2018, also includes a classified section that was provided to Congress and includes a more detailed Pentagon assessment on the impact of the troops withdrawal and the status of Islamic State militants and other foreign fighters in Syria.

"While I understand and respect President Trump's desire to bring our troops home and to end these protracted wars, we must do so in a way that ensures enduring stability and protects our interests and those of our allies, the need for caution and reflection as we consider troops withdrawals", South Dakota Republican John Thune said late last week in arguing for the reprimand of the president's decision.

Votel responded, "We were not - I was not consulted".

ISIS "remains a potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that could likely resurge in Syria absent continued counterterrorism pressure", the report from the inspector general said. The sudden claim rattled top security advisers, and led former defense secretary Jim Mattis to resign from his post.

The resolution, adopted by a 70-26 vote, stresses that the United States "faces continuing threats from terrorist groups operating in Syria and Afghanistan and that's why a precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from either country could put at risk hard-won gains and USA national security".

Trump said in a weekend interview that the caliphate is "almost knocked out".

According to the ruler, the troops will return because the EI was defeated, which, according to Trump, was the only reason for the US presence there.

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"We're at 99 percent right now, we'll be at 100", he said on CBS' "Face the Nation".

Votel's statement appears to be the first confirmation on the record from anyone in the high command that Trump's order to pull out from Syria blindsided the military in its mission to inflict a lasting defeat on the Islamic State.

He gave the committee assurances that the US will seek to protect the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, who have led the fight against ISIS in Syria, and the Syrian-Kurdish fighters within the SDF.

Officials said that overall, about 2,000 ISIS militants remain in Syria.

The report, citing information from US Central Command, said Islamic State would portray the withdrawal as a "victory" and conduct attacks on American personnel during the pullout process.

Several of Trump's fellow Republicans strongly disagreed with his plans to withdraw 2,000 USA troops from Syria on the grounds that militants no longer pose a threat.

Trump himself is expected to speak to the gathered foreign ministers at the State Department-hosted conference on Wednesday is widely expected to reiterate and expand on his anti-Islamic State message from the State of the Union, officials said.

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