Trump Downplays Syria Pullout, Says Troops Could Reenter From Iraq

US building new bases on Iraqi side of Syrian border

Making his first overseas visit to a warzone on Wednesday in Iraq, President Trump sought to downplay last week’s announced pullout from Syria, saying it had been “overstated,” and that US troops could easily reenter Syria whenever he felt it was necessary.

In arguing that point, Trump said that the base he was visiting, in western Iraq, could well serve as a base for future invasions of eastern Syria, from which the US is about to extricate itself.

That base isn’t the only one, with Iraqi officials reporting to Turkish state media that the US is in the process of setting up two new bases in the far west of Iraq’s Anbar province, in al-Qaim and al-Rutbah, the two main border crossings into Syria.

Trump’s comments are likely intended to deflect the Congressional backlash against the idea of not being at war with Syria, by arguing that the US could easily choose to suck itself back into the war at any moment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.