President Trump instructed the U.S. military Tuesday to prepare to withdraw the 2,000 U.S. troops still in Syria, but has agreed to let them remain there short-term until ISIS is completely neutralized.
“I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation,” Trump said at a White House press conference on Tuesday. “It’s time. We were very successful against ISIS.”
Trump has frequently said America has gained “nothing out of $7 trillion [spent] in the Middle East over the last 17 years.”
Defense secretary James Mattis had previously stated that the U.S. will stay in Syria for as long as the Islamic State causes trouble, in order to prevent the rise of an “ISIS 2.0.”
The president wants other countries to take on the burden of reconstructing Syria and maintaining stability in the region. America’s “primary mission” of destroying ISIS is “almost completed,” he said on Tuesday.
No date has been set yet for the U.S. troops’ exit.