Planning is underway for a “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US troops from Syria, a US defense official told CNN Wednesday.
The decision, which would be a reversal from previously stated US policy, was made by President Donald Trump, who has long signaled his desire to get out of Syria, the official added.
On Wednesday morning, the President tweeted, “we have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”
Even though the US will continue to maintain troops in Iraq with the capability of launching strikes into Syria, a US withdrawal of ground forces would fulfill a major goal of Syria, Iran and Russia and risks diminishing US influence in the region.
The US has about 2,000 troops on the ground in the country, where they are primarily training local forces to combat ISIS.