Iraq News

Syria mission coming to 'rapid end' but not over yet: White House

The White House on Wednesday (April 4th) said the US military mission in Syria was "coming to a rapid end" but indicated no timetable for a withdrawal, AFP reported.

Days after US President Donald Trump declared that the roughly 2,000 troops helping combat the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) would be coming home soon, the White House scotched talk of a precipitous withdrawal.

"The military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed," a White House statement said.

"The US and our partners remain committed to eliminating the small ISIS presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated."

"We will continue to consult with our allies and friends regarding future plans. We expect countries in the region and beyond, plus the UN, to work toward peace and ensure that ISIS never re-emerges."

According to the Washington Post, Trump has instructed military leaders to prepare a pull-out from Syria, but has not set a date for them to do so.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Trump took part in "a significant discussion" with his national security team on the US commitment in Syria at the White House on Tuesday.

Trump said Tuesday he wants US troops to "get out" of Syria, even as top US officials stressed the need to stay for the long term.

"Our primary mission in terms of Syria was getting rid of ISIS," Trump said Tuesday. "We have almost completed that task. And we will be making a decision very quickly in co-ordination with others in the area as to what we will do."

During a call Wednesday, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed their commitment to the "total defeat" of ISIS, the White House said.

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