The order for US military withdrawal from Syria has been signed, says Pentagon as reported by AFP. A decision to pull out completely, confirmed by U.S. officials and expected in the coming months, coincides with the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops finishing up a campaign to retake territory once held by Daesh militants.
But it could leave the United States with few options to prevent a resurgence of Daesh. It could also undercut U.S. leverage in the region and undermine diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian civil war, which is now in its eighth year.
"They're all coming back and they're coming back now. We won," Trump declared on Wednesday in a video posted on Twitter.
U.S. commanders on the ground, who have developed strong ties to SDF leaders, had voiced concerns about what a fast withdrawal would mean for the U.S-backed forces and were surprised by the decision, U.S. officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
But Trump said that he considered the mission in Syria over given Daesh territorial losses.
Some of Trump's Republican allies in Congress railed against the pullout decision. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, often a Trump ally but generally a foreign policy hawk, said a withdrawal would have "devastating consequences" for the United States in the region and throughout the world.
"An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia," Graham said in a statement.