Donald Trump is now promising that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria will take “about four months,” rather than the 30 days he had initially promised, the New York Times is reporting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, on December 19 Trump issued a series of tweets in which he claimed victory over ISIS in Syria and promised that U.S. troops would begin withdrawing “immediately.”
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”
In fact, the question of whether or not ISIS has been defeated in Syria is a controversial one, to say the least. One thing that is clear is that ISIS remains in Syria; in fact, by some estimates, the terrorist organization has as many as 30,000 fighters in the region.
As such, Trump’s announcement that ISIS in Syria was defeated came as an alleged shock to Pentagon leaders, and Trump reportedly made the announcement without having consulted with them first.
In fact, at least one former U.S. Army general, Stanley McChrystal, vehemently disagreed with Trump’s decision, as reported by the Inquisitr.
“There’s a lot of intelligence that says there are actually more ISIS fighters around the world now than there were a couple of years ago.”
— The Hill (@thehill) January 1, 2019
Trump, for his part, called McChrystal a “dog” that has a “big dumb mouth,” according to the Inquisitr.
Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria also seems to have been the reason that former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who had previously tendered his resignation, decided to advance the timetable of his own withdrawal from his job.
Even Trump’s own Republican ally, Lindsay Graham, had criticized the decision, but later changed his tune after having met with Trump, saying that Trump told him “some things I didn’t know.” It remains unclear, as of this writing, what those things are.
In a series of tweets, Trump claimed that he hasn’t been getting enough credit for pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, according to the Hill.
“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.”
Pentagon spokesman Commander Sean Robertson declined to comment on the troop withdrawal, saying he would let the president’s words speak for themselves.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, when the first U.S. troops will begin withdrawing from Syria.