Isis not defeated in Syria despite Trump claim, says UK

Donald Trump says ISIS has been BEATEN in Middle East – as troops withdrawn | Daily Star

He told the news outlet ISIS has been converted into an insurgency and will be a more powerful one without the us presence, Syria will fall more under the control of Russian Federation and Iran without USA forces, and the United States will be more readily seen as an "unreliable ally" by the rest of the world.

"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 terrorist territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders", she said in the statement. Graham told reporters he's meeting with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday. "A shift in USA policy that would remove American troops from Northeast Syria would jeopardize the gains U.S.troops and their partner Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, have fought-and sacrificed-to achieve", she continued.

The White House has ordered the Pentagon to pull US troops from Syria immediately, a USA defense official confirmed to CBS News correspondent David Martin.

It isn't clear what countries those prisoners are from beside Syria. The Washington Post reported that Mattis and other senior national security officials have tried to convince Trump not to withdraw U.S. troops, saying the move would betray the Kurds, and make local fighters in other countries wary of partnering with the United States.

"I would not call this withdrawal, I would call this a surrender", Vinograd said.

The partnership with the SDF over the past several years has led to the defeat of Islamic State in Syria but outraged North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, which views Kurdish YPG forces in the alliance as an extension of a militant group fighting inside Turkey.

Still, Mattis and US State Department officials have long fretted about leaving Syria before a peace agreement can be reached to end that country's brutal civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced around half of Syria's prewar population of about 22 million.

"AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA - IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!" he declared in an all upper-case salvo on Twitter.

Separate statements from the White House and the Pentagon claimed that the U.S. was embarking on a process of withdrawing its troops from the country.

Secretary Mattis continued to strongly insist that the USA must remain in Syria in perpetuity until ISIS is completely defeated, which is largely an impossible logistical task.

A United States withdrawal could open Trump up to criticism if ISIS reemerged. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the Islamic State was not yet defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan and said "withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake".

Despite their preference for an ongoing military presence in the war-torn country, Trump has said he wanted to bring the troops home when possible. He will certainly face an enormous amount of pushback from within his administration and without (all those #NeverTrump conservatives probably disagree with him on foreign policy more than any other policy topic). While the military campaign against ISIS was considered almost completed, the administration's new goals were the departure of all Iranian and proxy forces from the country and the establishment of a stable government acceptable to Syrians and the worldwide community.

Although the formal objective of the troops is the defeat of the militants, the administration has broadly defined that goal as ensuring that the Islamic State can not reassert itself, that political stability has been achieved under United Nations resolutions for a new constitution and eventual elections, and that all Iranian and Iranian proxy forces have left the country.

Officials at the Pentagon were still trying to talk Trump out of the withdrawal this week, according to the New York Times.

The policy of leaving US troops in Syria as leverage against Iran and to ensure Syrian stability was first announced in early September by James Jeffrey, who Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appointed as special representative for "Syria Engagement".

In addition, Pentagon and other officials have said that United States troops were countering Iran-backed militants in Syria, which was an expansion of the U.S. mission.

I hope Trump actually does follow through and pull out troops.

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