Trump, Reacting to Pushback, Slows Syria Troop Withdrawal

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But during a surprise trip to Iraq last week, Trump privately told the commander of USA forces in Iraq and Syria, Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, that the military could have several months to complete a safe and orderly withdrawal, according to two US officials. He is also open to offering incentives for wall funding.

Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, will be traveling to Israel and Turkey in early January to discuss what the White House says is the "deliberate and coordinated" withdrawal of US forces from Syria.

Graham is specifically calling for helping young "Dreamer" immigrants remain in the U.S.as well as another 400,000 people from countries struggling with natural disasters or armed conflicts.

During a lightning visit to USA troops based in Iraq last week, Trump said the United States would no longer be the world's "policeman".

The officials referred to the US President's meeting with Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, head of the Combined Joint Task Force fighting Daesh* in the region, during which Trump said that the troops could have several months to ensure a "succinct departure".

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned following the announcement, which came on the same day that US officials said Trump was also planning a significant drawdown in Afghanistan, with some reports suggesting as many as half of the 14,000 troops could leave.

Trump defended his decision to withdraw United States troops from Syria, saying the battle was "lost long ago", adding, "besides that, we're talking about sand and death". We will work closely together to make sure we get this right.

In the past, Trump has said he has great admiration for the Kurds, describing them as great fighters. "The pause is to assess the effects of the conditions on the ground".

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In contrast to previously emphatic victory declarations, Trump said that "ISIS is mostly gone".

National security adviser John Bolton was expected to travel to Israel and Turkey next weekend to discuss the President's plans with the American allies.

Mr Trump tweeted yesterday that he was sending troops home "slowly".

The president went on to say that in pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran previous year, Washington had changed Tehran's calculus and stymied its efforts to destabilize, and spread its influence throughout, the region.

"I feel better about Syria than I felt before I had lunch", Graham told reporters after leaving the White House.

"It is Fake News and Pundits who have FAILED for years that are doing the complaining. I spoke with Bibi", he said. The criticism from McChrystal, who commanded USA -led troops in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010, echoed long-standing denunciations by former senior intelligence officials, who have warned that Trump's approach to national security is reckless.

"Just when we were starting to sit down with the Taliban, just as we were starting to begin negotiations, he basically traded away the biggest leverage point we have", McChrystal added.

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