General: ‘No Pressure’ to Withdraw US Forces From Syria by Any Specific Date

Says ISIS remains 'unrepentant, unbroken, and radicalized'

Speaking to the House Armed Services Committee, US CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph Votel says he is under “no pressure” to withdraw US forces from Syria, and that there is no date for finalizing the withdrawal by any particular date.

This, along with Gen. Votel’s past statements in opposition to withdrawing US forces from Syria at all, would explain why there has been no sign of US troops actually leaving, despite the withdrawal having been announced months ago.

Already the administration has backed off the pullout substantially, going from withdrawing all 2,000 troops back in December to, more recently, leaving as many as 400 troops indefinitely. Gen. Votel still appears to envision a basically permanent war with ISIS.

In his comments to the committee, Votel said that a lot of the ISIS fighters remain “unrepentant, unbroken, and radicalized,” saying he believes that they will reform and start retaking territory as soon as they are able.

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.