Trump Wants U.S. Troops Out of Syria: Decision Coming 'In Very Near Future'

By Melanie Arter | April 3, 2018 | 3:50pm EDT

( - President Donald Trump said Tuesday that a decision would be made soon on pulling U.S. troops out of Syria.

During a joint White House press conference with leaders of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, Trump was asked about his plans to pull troops from Syria, considering that some of his military advisers are urging him to keep a contingent of U.S. troops there to ensure the defeat of ISIS.

“As far as Syria’s concerned, our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS. We’ve almost finished that task, and we’ll be making a decision very quickly in coordination with others in the area as to what we’ll do,” Trump said.

The president said Saudi Arabia is very interested in the United States’ decision and that he told them if they want the U.S. to stay, they might have to pay.

“Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision, and I said, ‘well, you know, you want us to stay, maybe you’ll have to pay.’ But a lot of people, you know, we do a lot of things in this country. We do them for a lot of reasons, but it’s very costly for our country, and it helps other countries a hell of a lot more than it helps us. So we’re going to be making a decision,” he said.

“We’ve had a tremendous military success against ISIS as you know. It’s close to 100 percent as I just said, and we’ll be making a decision as to what we do in the very near future. We’ll be consulting also with groups of our people and groups of our allies,” Trump said.

When asked whether he’s inclined to pull U.S. troops from Syria, Trump said, “I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation. We will have as of three months ago $7 trillion in the Middle East over the last 17 years. We get nothing, nothing out of it. Nothing.”

Trump said as a civilian he warned the U.S. to keep the oil in Iraq and areas seized by ISIS, but because the U.S. didn’t, ISIS was able to use it to fund its operations.

“And as you remember in civilian life for years I said keep the oil. I was always saying keep the oil. We didn’t keep the oil. Who got the oil? It was ISIS got the oil, a lot of it. That’s what funded their campaigns. They took a lot of the oil, and it was largely responsible for funding. We should have kept the oil then. We didn’t keep the oil,” he said.

“So I want to get back. I want to rebuild our nation. Think of it, $7 trillion over a 17-year period. We have nothing, nothing, except death and destruction. It’s a horrible thing. So it’s time. It’s time. We were very successful against ISIS. We’ll be successful against anyone militarily, but sometimes it’s time to come back home, and we’re thinking about that very seriously,” the president added.


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