US President Donald Trump has confirmed his intention to pull the country’s troops from Syria, explaining that the US military presence on Syria’s soil benefited other countries more than Washington itself.
“Our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS [Daesh]. We’ve almost completed that task and we’ll be making a decision very quickly in coordination with others, as to what we’ll do. Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision,” Trump stated during a press conference with the heads of three Baltic states. “I want to get out. I want to bring our troops home.”
The president specified that he would consult with the US-led coalition allies on the military withdrawal, aimed, as he claimed, to rebuild the US.
The statement follows previous Trump’s announcement made on April 29, pledging to allow United States’ withdrawal from Syria “very soon” and “let the other people take care of it” instead. The surprising Trump’s decision contradicted previous comments coming from his administration, including senior Pentagon and State Department officials, saying that American troops would maintain an open-ended presence in Syria.
The US has been maintaining a military presence on the Syrian soil since 2014, leading a coalition of allies fighting against Daesh* without either a UN mandate or the Syrian government’s authorization. Damascus has consistently called the US military presence in the country “illegal.”
*Daesh, also known as ISIL/ISIS/IS, a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries