Trump 'slowing down' planned withdrawal from Syria, senator says

Bolton arrives in Israel to allay concerns over Syria pullout

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The shift came a day after a senior Republican senator said Trump had promised to stay in Syria to finish the job of defeating the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.

While Washington considers YPG a strong ally in the fight against Daesh, Turkey considers it the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist organisation.

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Earlier, Trump said the United States would get out of Syria "over a period of time" and wants to protect the US -backed Kurdish fighters in the country as Washington draws down troops.

Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reportedly urged Trump to slow down the planned withdrawal.

"If anybody but Donald Trump did what I did in Syria, which was an ISIS loaded mess when I became President, they would be a national hero", the president said.

Military officials have declined to specify the timing of the departure, partly for operational security reasons and partly because many details are still quite fluid, and officials recognize that Trump could change his mind at any moment and speed up the departure.

In Syria, about 2,000 USA soldiers operate alongside other foreign troops to assist local fighters battling Islamic State, a jihadist group that once held territory across much of Iraq and Syria and set up its own ultra-Islamist government.

The counter-Islamic State campaign continues, our efforts to counter Iranian aggression continues, and our commitment to Middle East stability and the protection of Israel continues in the same way it did before that decision was made.

Bolton's spokesman, Garrett Marquis, said in a statement Monday that Bolton will be joined in Turkey by Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and James Jeffrey, the secretary of state's special representative for Syria engagement.

During a lightning visit to U.S. troops based in Iraq last week, Trump said the United States would no longer be the world's "policeman".

"He told me some things I didn't know that made me feel a lot better about where we're headed in Syria", the SC lawmaker said.

Nevertheless, Trump's latest plan left open the question of whether an orderly pullout from Syria would happen.

Trump said last week that he did not think America's removing its troops from Syria would endanger Israel by strengthening Tehran's hand in one of the Jewish state's immediate neighbors to the north. I'm getting out, we're getting out of Syria.

"I think we're in a pause situation where we are reevaluating what's the best way to achieve the President's objective of having people pay more and do more", he said.

"Just doing what I said I was going to do!"

On Sunday, he told ABC that the dual drawdowns could seriously weaken United States influence in the region. There is an argument that says we just pull up our stuff, go home, let the region run itself.

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