Trump gives no timetable for Syria exit, wants to protect Kurds

Trump gives no timetable for Syria exit, wants to protect Kurds

Trump gives no timetable for Syria exit, wants to protect Kurds

Still, Graham said, Trump remains committed to bringing American service members home, even as he continues to weigh the greater regional dynamics.

Lindsey Graham, who had earlier called the withdrawal decision a "huge Obama-like mistake", told journalists: "The president assured me he is going to make sure he gets the job done". "The president will make sure any withdrawal from Syria will be done in a fashion to ensure 1) ISIS is permanently destroyed, 2) Iran doesn't fill in the back end, and 3) our Kurdish allies are protected", Graham tweeted. "Don't turn Syria over to the Iranians". Graham used a different acronym for IS.

Netanyahu said he was happy to meet Pompeo for the second time in a month, saying they had "a lot to discuss" about their "common aims".

"I think we're in a pause situation", the South Carolina Republican said outside the White House after lunch with the president.

The statement said F-16 fighter jets carried out the raid around al-Sousa village in eastern Syria, as "30 leaders from Daesh (Islamic State) gangs" met in the building. But he said IS, while holding only slivers of territory, remained a potent threat in northeastern Syria.

Trump also affirmed there was no timetable for the withdrawal from Syria, countering aNew York Times report on Monday of a four-month period for the troop withdrawal.

Graham emerged after two hours, saying Trump "understands the need to finish the job".

The Pentagon says it is considering plans for a "deliberate and controlled withdrawal".

A senior Israeli official said Wednesday that "Israel received nearly everything it wanted" during the meeting.

"After discussions with the President and (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph) Dunford, I never felt better about where we are headed", Graham said.

Graham had been an outspoken critic of Trump's policy, which had drawn bipartisan criticism.

He has joined other Republicans and Democrats in criticising Trump's order for the pullout of all 2,000 U.S. troops deployed in Syria in support of anti-IS fighters made up mostly of Kurds.

Ankara views YPG as the Syrian branch of the PKK.

USA commanders planning the withdrawal are recommending that YPG fighters battling IS be allowed to keep US-supplied weapons, according to U.S. officials.

That proposal would likely anger Turkey, where Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, holds talks this week.

The source added that Netanyahu came out of the meeting with Pompeo feeling that Israel has the ability to influence certain aspects of USA policy, and the two countries are now working on plans to make the American troop pull-out as non-disruptive for Israeli security as possible.

This was Trump's first cabinet meeting with new acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan who has taken over from James Mattis who resigned in protest of the sudden exit from Syria.

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