Trump slowing down troop pullout from Syria

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His announcement of an abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces cost him his defence secretary when Jim Mattis quit in protest. It is Fake News and Pundits who have FAILED for years that are doing the complaining.

"I want to fight the war in the enemy's backyard, not ours", Graham said in an interview on CNN's Sunday morning State of the Union show.

Kurdish Syrian forces at the weekend asked the Assad Government for protection against a Turkish attack on a flashpoint town.

USA commanders planning the US withdrawal are recommending that YPG fighters battling Islamic State be allowed to keep US -supplied weapons, according to USA officials.

Graham has been one of a number of Republican critics of the planned withdrawal, arguing that it would embolden the Syrian regime and its main allies - Russian Federation and Iran, while undermining the fight against Daesh. Garrett Marquis, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, stated, "Ambassador John Bolton will travel to Israel and Turkey in early January to discuss the deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of USA forces from Syria, and increased cooperation with the Turkish military and other partners". Trump, in his December 19 pullout announcement, cited the same reasons, arguing that troops had no need to stay in the war-torn country.

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Graham says Trump is receptive to making a deal if it achieves his goal of securing the border. "The pause is to assess the effects of the conditions on the ground".

Trump added that the fight against the Islamic State would continue - "you can do two things at once" - and said, "We have other bases in the general area".

During a lightning visit to U.S. troops based in Iraq last week, Trump said the United States would no longer be the world's "policeman".

Following the Kurds" liberation of Manbij from IS in August 2016, Turkey invaded Syria in a military operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield', capturing a swath of territory in the north. Mediation by Russian Federation and the United States prevented a direct conflict between the Turkish-backed militias and Kurds in Manbij at the time, but Ankara has continued to insist on a Kurdish withdrawal beyond the Euphrates ever since.

Asked about the timetable for withdrawing from Syria, Trump gave no specific timeline, but also did not back up claims made by Sen.

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"They're pulling people out of Syria, but they can do what they want there, frankly", he said. Initially, Trump said IS had been destroyed in Syria.

TRT World's Yusuf Erim has more.

Trump decided on the Syria withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, ignoring the advice of top national security aides and without consulting lawmakers or US allies participating in anti-Islamic State operations. "ISIS is mostly gone, we're slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families", Trump wrote, in part.

'I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places.

The US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, said the move had "dangerous implications" for stability, would "negatively affect the campaign against terrorism", and create "a political and military vacuum".

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That tweet seemed aimed at rebutting comments by Stanley McChrystal, a retired U.S. Army four-star general who commanded the Joint Special Operations Command in the mid-2000s and formerly commanded U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. "If you pull American influence out, you're likely to have greater instability".