The United States President Donald Trump has on Wednesday said, the US military forces would be getting out of Syria much slowly “over a period of time” and would be protecting the US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria as Washington draw-downs its troops.
According to news reports, the US president did not provide any timetable in accordance with his plan to withdraw its troops from Syria, announced last month against a top national security aide’s advice, without consulting any of US lawmakers or the US allies which were a part of anti-Islamic State operations.
Due to Trump’s announcement, defence secretary Jim Mattis has resigned last month. On Wednesday, Trump said he had fundamentally fired Mattis before.
During a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, in the White House, Trump said he had never disclosed any of four-month timetables for its withdrawal of American troops based in Syria fighting Islamic State militants.
Trump said, “We’re getting out and we’re getting out smart,” adding, “I never said I’m getting out tomorrow.” Trump refused to provide information over how long the US troop would remain in Syria and also did not provide any timetable.
In recent days, Trump was seen backing off from his hasty pullout of troop and appeared stressing slowing down its withdrawal operation.
In a tweet, Trump wrote on Monday: “We’re slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting ISIS [Islamic State] remnants.”
Republican senator Lindsey Graham said Trump was committed to make sure that Turkey does not clash with Kurdish YPG forces once the US troops leaves Syria.
According to US officials, the US commanders were planning to allow YPG fighters, battling Islamic State militants, to keep using US-supplied weapons after the US troops’ pullout.
Over Kurds selling its oil to Iran, Trump said, “I didn’t like the fact that they’re selling the small (amount of) oil that they have to Iran, and we asked them not to sell it to Iran … We’re not thrilled about that. OK? I’m not happy about it at all.”
“We want to protect the Kurds, nevertheless. We want to protect the Kurds, but I don’t want to be in Syria forever. It’s sand. And it’s death.”