US to begin withdrawing forces from Syria: White House

The U.S. military has already begun withdrawing their troops from Syria, the White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign,” Sanders said.

Following the announcement, the US official stated that in 24 hours, all US State Department staff will be evacuated from Syria adding that it is expected that the troops will return home within 60 to 100 days.

However, according to Reuters News Agency, it was not immediately clear whether or not all 2,000 U.S. soldiers would be leaving Syria, nor was a date given for the complete withdrawal.

Sanders suggested that the United States would remain engaged to some degree.

“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 terrorists territory, funding, support,” she said.

Earlier in the day, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there.”

Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria comes after their allies on the ground managed to seize one of the most important ISIS strongholds east of the Euphrates.

Commenting on the move, US Senator Lindsey Graham said in a statement that the Trump administration’s reported plan to withdraw all military service members from Syria would be a big mistake and put the United States’ allies in the region at risk.

“If these media reports are true, it will be an Obama-like mistake made by the Trump Administration,” Graham said. “An American withdrawal will put the Kurds and all those who came to America’s aid in destroying ISIS at tremendous risk.”

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