Trump: 'Getting Out of Syria Was No Surprise,' 'Time to Come Home and Rebuild'

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
December 20, 2018

President Donald Trump said Thursday morning that his decision to pull troops out of Syria was no surprise, tweeting it is time for the troops to come home and for the United States to start to rebuild.

Trump released a Twitter video on Wednesday declaring the U.S. had beaten the Islamic State "badly" and praising the country's fighting men and women as heroes.

"Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer. Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there work. Time to come home & rebuild. ," Trump wrote.

The Wall Street Journal and other outlets reported Wednesday that the Trump administration planned to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria. There are currently 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria that were there to train local forces in fighting ISIS. The U.S. also provided air and technical support to Kurdish and U.S. backed rebel forces. The U.S. began airstrikes in Syria in 2014 and ground troops were sent in 2015 to combat ISIS.

Trump's decision was met with fierce criticism and rebuke by some members of his own party.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) called it an "Obama-like mistake."   Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) called it a "grave error," and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) said Trump's tweet about ISIS being defeated is "simply not true." Sen. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) urged Trump to halt his decision.

Some senators like Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) praised Trump's decision.

Trump continued to defend his decision on Twitter.

"Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? Do we want to be there forever? Time for others to finally fight.........Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us. I am building by far the most powerful military in the world. ISIS hits us they are doomed!" Trump tweeted.

Russian President Vladamir Putin praised Trump's decision to withdraw troops.

Earlier this year, Trump was public about his desire to withdraw troops from the country but gave his military and national security advisers six months to accomplish their goal.