“We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a statement. Defense Department officials said that Trump had ordered that the withdrawal be completed in 30 days.
Trump’s decision throws the difficult situation in Syria into further disarray bringing into question the future of the anti-ISIS alliance headed by the U.S. France’s Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau stated to the media that her country is continuing the fight against ISIS, saying, “For now, of course, we are staying in Syria because the fight against Islamic State is essential.”
The British Foreign office made a similar statement saying, “Much remains to be done and we must not lose sight of the threat they pose.”
The U.S. presence in Syria also hindered Iranian dominance in the country that has been weakened by a seven-year civil war. A heavy Russian military presence is propping up the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while giving a tacit pass to Iran to establish bases in Syria. Iranian dominance in Syria would give them a land-bridge to the Mediterranean, expanding the influence of a regime widely considered to be the largest global sponsor of terrorism.