The White House said on Wednesday that the United States mission in Syria to eradicate the Islamic State “is coming to a rapid end.”
“The military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed,” The White House statement said. “The United States and our partners remain committed to eliminating the small ISIS presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated.”
The announcement came shortly after the Washington Post reported that President Trump instructed military leaders during a meeting on Tuesday to begin planning the withdrawal of troops from the war-torn, Middle Eastern nation.
According to a Washington Post report, Trump said that while U.S. troops can still be involved in training local forces to ensure security in liberated areas, he expects other nations – particularly the oil-rich Arab states – to help pay for the reconstruction of Syria and send in their own troops.
“As far as Syria is concerned, our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS,” Trump said on Tuesday during a news conference with leaders from the Baltic nations. “We’ve completed that task and we’ll be making a decision very quickly, in coordination with others in the area, as to what we will do.”
The mission is “very costly for our country and it helps other countries a helluva lot more than it helps us,” Trump said.