President Donald Trump complained on Monday that he’s getting “bad press” for his decision to pull American troops out of Syria, saying he’s making good on his campaign promise against U.S. involvement in “never ending wars.”
Earlier this month, Trump abruptly announced on Twitter that he was withdrawing 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria. He said Islamic State militants are “mostly gone” and he’s “slowly” sending American servicemen and women back to their families. A drawdown of troops in Afghanistan also appeared to be in the works.
The decision was roundly criticized by his national security advisers and Democratic and Republican lawmakers. It prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to step down. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., signed on to a letter with other GOP senators urging Trump to reconsider.
“I am the only person in America who could say that, ‘I’m bringing our great troops back home, with victory,’ and get BAD press,” Trump tweeted Monday. “It is Fake News and Pundits who have FAILED for years that are doing the complaining. If I stayed in Endless Wars forever, they would still be unhappy!”
Critics not only warn of a resurgence of IS, but worry that the American exit is a betrayal of U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria and leaves them vulnerable to an attack from Turkish forces. Turkey considers the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which now controls nearly 30 percent of Syria, a terrorist group linked to an insurgency within its own borders. Other critics feared an abrupt withdrawal.
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