Newstalk
Newstalk

19.22 19 Dec 2018


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Donald Trump has claimed that Islamic State has been defeated in Syria, amid reports that he is planning a full withdrawal of US troops from the country.

Around 2,000 US soldiers are deployed in Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve - the military operation targeting Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.

There has been major reductions in the amount of territory controlled by IS in Syria in recent years, with the militants reportedly only retaining a tiny amount of land.

Today, multiple US media outlets reported that a 'full and rapid' withdrawal of US troops has been ordered - despite apparent objections from senior defence officials.

According to the Wall Street Journal, US authorities have begun informing partners in northeastern Syria of plans for an "immediate pullout" of troops.

If a full withdrawal of ground forces takes place, the US would retain the ability to carry out airstrikes against targets in Syria.

In a statement quoted by Axios, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed the US has "defeated the territorial caliphate".

She said: "These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign. We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.

"The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders."

Meanwhile, the US President himself took to Twitter to declare victory against the militants:


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