Donald Trump says Syria troop withdrawal will come at ‘a proper pace’
President Trump said Monday that he’ll withdraw troops from Syria “at a proper pace,” pushing back against a report that U.S. forces could remain there for years.
“We will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!” Mr. Trump tweeted, saying the timetable is “no different from my original statements.”
He criticized The New York Times for deliberately publishing “a very inaccurate story on my intentions on Syria.” The paper said White House National Security Adviser John R. Bolton indicated on a trip to Israel that the troop pullout could be delayed “for months or even years.”
Former Defense Secretary James N. Mattis resigned last month, partly over Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria soon.
Mr. Bolton told reporters that Turkish military operations must “meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered” before pulling out U.S. troops.
“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum, so they don’t endanger our troops,” he said.
The president said Sunday that troops will withdraw from Syria, but “we won’t be finally pulled out until ISIS is gone.”