Donald Trump: Syria lost and only sand and death left[/ltr]
[ltr][rtl]_NEWS_DATE: 2019/1/3 21:19[/rtl] ?? AÂ ¢ ?? A ??? AÂ ¢ [rtl]131 times set[/rtl][/ltr]
[Where - Continue]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US President Donald Trump said Syria was "lost a long time ago," leaving only "sand and death," but he did not set a timetable for US troops to withdraw.
"We are not talking about a fortune, we are talking about sand and death, and I do not want to stay in Syria forever," he said at a cabinet meeting.
He said that he did not "decide to return troops overnight." "Yes, we will withdraw, but this will take place over a period of time," he said.
The US president said on Monday that the United States had begun withdrawing its forces "gradually" from Syria, a different statement in the meaning of its announcement on 19 December to withdraw troops immediately.
"Our sons and daughters will return and return immediately," he said in a video.
Israeli media published on December 31 reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked the US president to wait for his forces to be withdrawn from Syria gradually.
A senior political source said that Netanyahu had asked Trump, and that the US president had "responded to his request" ahead of talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
"The organization of the Islamic state is almost defeated, and our soldiers will gradually return to their families, while we are still fighting the remnants of the organization," Trump wrote on Twitter.
Syria has 2,000 US troops, mostly special forces, deployed in northern Syria to fight the Islamic state and support forces fighting Islamic militants.
US military commanders have repeatedly warned against a hasty withdrawal from Syria, saying it would leave room for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's allies, especially Iran and Russia.
US Defense Secretary James Matisse resigned after Trump's decision on Syria, and US envoy to the International Alliance Against the Islamic State Organization, Brett McGurk, resigned.