Trump Says He ‘Agrees 100%’ With Keeping US Troops in Syria

Endorses letter from Congress calling presence 'essential'

Having stuck to his guns, at least for a couple of months, on the need to withdraw US ground troops from Syria, President Trump is now loudly endorsing the new plan, which is to leave some US forces in Syria for an open-ended amount of time.

Trump responded to a joint letter from several members of Congress by saying he agrees 100% and that “all is being done.” The letter said it was essential to keep US ground troops in Syria “to ensure stability” in Syria.

The letter also speculated that keeping US troops in Syria would mean that the US could probably talk other countries into committing forces as well, and would prevent Turkey’s invasion of western Syria to fight the Kurds.

Over the past two weeks, US officials have backed off the promised pullout, promising to keep 200 troops in Syria, then later upping that figure to 400 US troops. There are estimated to be 2,000 US troops in Syria now, though it’s not clear that the administration is done backpedaling on the promise, so 400 may only be the beginning of this enduring presence.

Extending those troop deployments was initially done relatively quietly, with President Trump not talking about it at all. Now he seems to be embracing a Congressional narrative which he’d previously disavowed. Having committed to abandoning his previous commitment, however, he seemingly just as enthusiastic and 100% behind the not-pullout as he was with the pullout.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.