Trump gives military four months to leave Syria

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham

President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to withdraw USA troops from Syria, saying he is "just doing what I said I was going to do" during his presidential campaign.

The move resulted in the resignation of US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis.

He added: "I'm going to ask him to sit down with his generals and reconsider how to do this".

On Monday, Trump said on Fox News that he had conciliated Senator Lindsey Graham about Graham's concern regarding a rapid withdrawal, asserting, "I said, 'You know, I never said that I'm going to rush out.'" He added that the USA could still fight ISIS despite pulling out from Syria, positing, "You can do two things at once".

"We are proud that we can say that we as Syriac-Assyrian Christians have fought side by side with the USA". "We're slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time-fighting Isis [Daesh] remnants", he said on Twitter on Monday.

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"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.

Graham, who has been a vocal critic of Trump's plan, also said he would try to change the president's mind during a private lunch because the Islamic State is not completely defeated as the president previously has suggested.

During his appearance on CNN's "State of the Union", Graham previewed his arguments to Trump for reconsidering the Syria pullout.

Senator Lindsey Graham warned that removing all U.S. forces would hurt USA security by allowing the Islamic State (IS) group to rebuild, betraying US-backed Kurdish fighters battling remnants of the militant group, and enhancing Iran's ability to threaten Israel, AFP said.

The source added that Netanyahu came out of the meeting with Pompeo feeling that Israel has the ability to influence certain aspects of US policy, and the two countries are now working on plans to make the American troop pull-out as non-disruptive for Israeli security as possible.

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Trump announced his Syria pullout by saying 'We've won against ISIS, ' even though thousands of the group's fighters are thought to remain in Syria after the collapse of their 'caliphate'. "I'm not happy about it at all", Trump said.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Trump is considering reversing the decision - announced by tweet earlier this month - to pull USA troops from Syria.

CNN has previously reported that a withdrawal of troops from Syria would take months because United States commanders have said they need to move slowly in order to protect the troops.

Graham says Trump is receptive to making a deal if it achieves his goal of securing the border. Now when I start getting out the Fake News Media, or some failed Generals who were unable to do the job before I arrived, like to complain about me & my tactics, which are working, ' Trump tweeted on Monday.

That proposal would likely anger Turkey, where Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, holds talks this week.

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