In this picture taken on March 29, 2018, USA soldiers sit on a house acting as an outpost at Halawanji village, north of Manbij town, Syria.
President Donald Trump will announce that the USA will withdraw troops from Syria, a US official confirms.
"These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign", Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. As recently as the last few weeks, top administration officials have expressed the importance of having a presence in the region and that ISIS is still a threat there.
"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency", Mr. Trump tweeted.
As his once improbable candidacy gathered steam, Trump found a major political issue on Syria - assailing refugees and demanding a sweeping ban on Muslims entering the United States.
The withdrawal of USA troops comes as the US approaches an end of a coalition campaign to recapture territory once controlled by IS. "A shift in USA policy that would remove American troops from Northeast Syria would jeopardize the gains U.S.troops and their partner Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, have fought-and sacrificed-to achieve", she continued. Tim Kaine of Virginia is reported to have said that it's hard to believe the withdrawal from Syria isn't connected to the Patriot missile sales to Turkey, which amounted to $3.5 billion.
US troops have been in Syria since late 2015.
Yet Trump seems hellbent on fulfilling a campaign promise, tweeting Wednesday morning that he had accomplished his goal of defeating the Islamic State.
The confirmation of the withdrawal comes after Turkey said it was preparing to launch an operation against a US-backed Kurdish militia in northern Syria, something that risks confrontation with the US.
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Estimates vary as to how many ISIS fighters are left in Syria. The presence of USA troops has become "a risky obstacle" to peace in the country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said before the news about the withdrawal broke on Wednesday. "The president's decision is surrendering obviously to Russian, Iranian, Turkish, and Assad's own designs in Syria".
Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria expert at the Institute for the Study of War, said the withdrawal is likely to create new problems.
He said: "If we withdraw then who fills the vacuum, who is able to stabilise and that is the million dollar question". As the end of the campaign of taking back territory from the Islamic State nears, one senator claims the move would be a "huge Obama-like mistake".
"There's clandestine [ISIS] cells [in Syria]".
James Stavridis, a former Navy admiral who served as top North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander, tweeted today that "Pulling troops out of Syria in an ongoing fight is a big mistake".
"We may see a new phase in the Syrian crisis in the coming days, and its features will be shown as Daesh is now limited to specific areas", he said, using another name for IS.
In addition, Pentagon and other officials have said that United States troops were countering Iran-backed militants in Syria, which was an expansion of the U.S. mission.
Casting himself as showing more resolve than Obama, Trump ordered 59 cruise missiles to strike a Syrian air base.