United States President Donald Trump has agreed upon providing four months to the US Army to withdraw its troops from Syria, defense officials confirmed on Monday.
The New York Times (NYT) reported that the US President's impulsive decision to withdraw troops from Syria was announced on December 19, last year, after declaring the Islamic State (ISIS) to have been fully 'destroyed', created a rift between him and the US military. The quick move also triggered numerous criticisms from retired General Stanley A. McChrystal and departing White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly.
"If anybody but Donald Trump did what I did in Syria, which was an ISIS loaded mess when I became President, they would be a national hero. ISIS is mostly gone, we're slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting ISIS remnants......," the US President tweeted.
"...I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places. Now when I start getting out the Fake News Media, or some failed Generals who were unable to do the job before I arrived, like to complain about me & my tactics, which are working. Just doing what I said I was going to do!," Trump added.
Officials from White House further affirmed that during the recent visit of Trump to Iraq, which took place last week amid the partial government shutdown, the US President had privately told the commander of American forces in Iraq and Syria, Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera that the military will get enough time for a safe and orderly withdrawal of the troops from the ISIS-held war-zone.
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who resigned from his post in the wake of Trump's sudden decision of troop's withdrawal, had earlier warned that the move would further risk the fight against ISIS, betray the Syrian Kurdish-Arab forces allies on ground and concede the eastern part of the country to the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies.