Donald Trump stuns world with his latest military decision about Syria

Donald Trump

A White Official said the decision came after a phone call between Mr Trump and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.

Even though the U.S. will continue to maintain troops in Iraq with the capability of launching strikes into Syria, a USA withdrawal of ground forces would fulfill a major goal of Syria, Iran and Russian Federation and risks diminishing United States influence in the region.

Pentagon officials in recent months have stressed that the terrorist organization - which once controlled huge swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, and had vowed to build a "caliphate" in the region - has been territorially defeated.

"Unilateral military action into northeast Syria by any party, particularly as United States personnel may be present or in the vicinity, is of grave concern", a Defense Department spokesperson said one week ago.

A US official said all US State Department personnel would leave Syria within 24 hours, with the time frame for the complete military pullout set between 60 and 100 days.

"At this time, we continue to work by, with and through our partners in the region", Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a short statement Wednesday.

"This is not just a dream scenario for ISIS, but also for Russia, Iran and the Assad regime, all of whom stand to benefit substantially from a USA withdrawal".

Reports of a full USA military withdrawal drew immediate criticism, including from some of Mr Trump's fellow Republicans.

A formal withdrawal announcement could come as early as Wednesday, administration officials said.

It comes as the White House declared victory on Wednesday in the mission to defeat Islamic State militants there.

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood
Image Defence minister Tobias Ellwood has questioned Mr Trump's claims

Mr Netanyahu said he had spoken with Mr Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the decision.

United States military and diplomatic officials have repeatedly said they are committed to remaining in Syria to see the final defeat of ISIS.

The Turks have targeted US -backed Kurdish troops along the Syria-Turkey border, which Turkey considers an insurgent threat.

"It blindsided me", South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham said. It was unclear how soon a decision detailing any withdrawal plans might be announced. The White House was quick to state that the U.S. departure does not signal that the Americans are leaving the coalition against IS, but rather, now that IS lost its strongholds, the White House is "transitioning to the next phase of the campaign".

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Wednesday that USA troops would be removed from northeast Syria.

Mattis and other State Department officials have long fretted about leaving Syria before a peace agreement can be reached to end that country's brutal civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced around half of Syria's pre-war population of about 22 million.

"We do not want to simply pull out before the diplomats have won the peace". Washington has provided almost $8.1 billion in assistance for people displaced since the crisis started, including 12.1 million people suffering in Syria and 5.6 million Syrian refugees in the region.

"From being a factor in the fight against terrorism, the illegal American presence in Syria is becoming a unsafe obstacle to the path to a settlement", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing. "You win the fight - and then you win the peace", Mattis said in April.

The terror group control a shrinking strip of land east of the Syria's Euphrates River around the town of Hajin, which US-backed forces took last week.

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