White House to announce decision on U.S. troops in Syria

Decision Made on Future of US Troops in Syria

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"Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision, and I said, 'well you want us to stay, maybe you're going to have to pay, '" he told reporters at the White House.

He stressed that Turkey's fight against the YPG would not distract from efforts to eliminate the remnants of Islamic State group from the country.

President Donald Trump's White House vowed on Wednesday (April 4) that the United States mission in Syria would come to a "rapid end" but failed to put a timetable on an eventual withdrawal. It was not immediately clear whether he would make a decision on withdrawing troops at that time.

The White House said in a statement on Wednesday the USA military mission to eradicate IS "is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being nearly completely destroyed".

Repeating a theme that he has expressed in the past, including while we were together in Baghdad two years ago, Votel talked about how in many ways, defeating ISIS is the easy part in Syria, as it was in Iraq. I want to bring our troops back. "We're going to get back to our country, where we belong".

Then came reports that the administration froze $200 million in recovery funds for areas liberated from ISIS.

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America's European allies also want the troops to stay on.

Officials in the global coalition against IS say the group has lost 98% of the land it once held in Syria and Iraq, but they stress that the jihadist group has not been completely defeated.

In the meantime, the prospect of pulling all forces from the counter-IS fight is not sitting well with US allies, including the Kurds and Iraq.

At around 7:00 am on April 4, 2017, an air strike hit Khan Sheikun, a small town in northwestern Syria held by rebel fighters opposed to Assad's Russian-backed regime.

Brett McGurk, the USA special envoy for the counter-IS fight at the State Department, said the administration is now undertaking a spending review of the Syria campaign that extends from counter-explosive aid to rubble removal.

Trump has said publicly that he's ready to withdraw troops from Syria, but his top military commanders have argued the battle against ISIS is not yet complete. But policy makers in Moscow expect the American military presence to continue, prolonging a de facto carve-up of the country.

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He warned that the USA could not "make the same mistakes that were made in 2011 when a premature departure from Iraq allowed al-Qaeda in Iraq to survive and eventually morph into [IS]".

Putin hosted the first trilateral meeting on Syria in November 2017 at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where the three leaders discussed the progress - and lack of it - made in the Astana peace talks along with reviewing the changes made in the de-escalation zones across Syria.

Mr Trump was reportedly persuaded by his national security team not to order a quick withdrawal at a meeting on Tuesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference Monday that, while he found Trump's words encouraging, the USA has recently only become more entangled in the seven-year civil war in Syria, where the Moscow-backed government considered the US and Turkey to be invading forces.

Currently, there are about 2,000 troops in Syria, mainly ordering United States airstrikes against the Islamic State. "They've been very strong since the beginning, and we'll continue to see that as the Iraqi security forces step up to the plate and begin to take on more of those tasks in the future".

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