US Envoy: Trump Was ‘Misunderstood’ in Syria Pullout Announcement

Declaring victory never meant the war was going to end

In an interview with Germany’s DW, US Special Envoy on Syria James Jeffrey defended President Trump’s declaration of victory over ISIS earlier this year, and argued that people who thought he was going to end the war or withdraw from Syria simply “misunderstood.

Jeffrey conceded that there was confusion around the announcement, saying even some within the administration misunderstood. At the same time, he said Trump’s statement was clear and “close to the truth” compared to other statements by victorious political leaders.

Jeffrey also suggested that the inspector general’s statement on the ISIS war was mistaken, but added that they “would not ever deliberately put out false statements, but they often put out inaccurate statements based upon a misrepresentation of one-sided information.”

Trump had been pretty clear about there being a pullout in Syria, and defended it for at least some time from critics before eventually backing down and claiming he was going to stay. Though Jeffrey’s narrative is that continuing the war was the plan all along, it simply doesn’t fit with what officials had been saying at the time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of