Trump did not consult top US general on withdrawal of troops from Syria
The commander of the United States Central Command, who monitors military operations in the Middle East, on Tuesday, divulged that he “was not consulted” before US President Donald Trump’s December announcement about the withdrawal of troops from Syria.
Denying Trump’s claims that ISIS has been defeated, General Joseph Votel stated that the war against ISIS is “not over” and warned that the terror group could regroup after troops leave the country, reported CNN.
In a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee, Votel said, “I was not aware of the specific announcement. Certainly, we are aware that he had expressed a desire and intent in the past to depart Iraq, depart Syria.”
Stating that ISIS still controls about 20 square miles of territory in Syria where the terror group still commands approximately 1,000 to 1,500 fighters, Votel said, “The fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over, and our mission has not changed.”
“The fact the President made a decision and we are going to execute his orders here to withdraw forces from Syria and as we do that we’re going to do that in a very deliberate manner,” Votel added.
In December Trump had tweeted, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”
Later, he also released a video where he said US troops are “all coming back, and they’re coming back now.”
Following the announcement, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the Special Presidential Envoy to the Counter-ISIS campaign Brett McGurk resigned. -ANI