White House to announce decision on US troops in Syria

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Washington, April 5 (IANS) The US has made a decision on the future of its troops in Syria, and the White House will announce it soon, the media reported citing the US intelligence chief.

Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, told reporters on Wednesday that the decision has been made at an “all hands on deck” meeting on Tuesday of top US national security officials, Xinhua news agency reported.

The White House will make the decision public “relatively soon”, Coats added.

US President Donald Trump has recently reiterated his intention of bringing American troops back from Syria, saying that the fight against the extremist group Islamic State (IS) was almost done.

“Our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of Islamic State (IS). We’ve almost completed that task and we’ll be making a decision very quickly in coordination with others, as to what we’ll do,” Trump said on Tuesday at a joint press conference at the White House with visiting leaders from three Baltic countries.

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“I want to bring our troops home,” Trump added.

Trump also complained the US has spent $7 trillion in the Middle East in the past 17 years, which has brought “nothing, except death and destruction”.

Trump’s remarks seemed to be at odds with opinions of the US military. The Pentagon and the State Department have advised that a much longer-term effort is necessary to defeat the militant group.

Also on Tuesday, Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the US-led coalition to defeat the IS, said that the fight was not over.

“We are in Syria to fight the IS,” he said at a public event in Washington. “That is our mission and that mission isn’t over and we are going to complete that mission.”

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