US President Donald Trump on Sunday said the troop pullout in Syria is happening "quickly". Trump's remarks came after his National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters that the US will not bring its troops back unless the Turkish government guarantees that it would not attack the Syrian Kurdish forces. Syrian Kurdish forces are backed by the US and are a critical American partner in the fight against ISIS. "It's going quickly," Trump told reporters here when asked how long it will take to pullout troops from Syria. Trump said there was no need for US forces in Syria now that the ISIS has been defeated there.
"We've wiped out ISIS in Iraq, we've wiped out ISIS. Iran hates ISIS more than we do if that's possible. Russia hates ISIS more than we do. Turkey hates ISIS, maybe not as much as we do. But these are countries that hate ISIS," he said adding that these countries can now do the fighting themselves.
Earlier, Donald Trump surprised the world and his country as well when he suddenly announced that the US is pulling out its troops from Syria. "In Syria, Erdogan said he wants to knock out ISIS, whatever's left, the remnants of ISIS. And Saudi Arabia just came out and said they are going to pay for some economic development. Which is great, that means we don't have to pay. We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven't even heard about. Frankly, it's ridiculous," Trump added.
Trump's sudden decision sparked turmoil in his administration, prompting the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, as well as of Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the anti-IS coalition.
Brett McGurk, the US envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, resigned in protest over President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, a US official said, joining Defence Secretary Jim Mattis in an administration exodus of experienced national security figures.
McGurk had said it would be "reckless" to consider IS defeated and therefore would be unwise to bring American forces home. McGurk decided to speed up his original plan to leave his post in mid-February. Appointed to the post by President Barack Obama in 2015 and retained by Trump, McGurk said in his resignation letter that the militants were on the run, but not yet defeated, and that the premature pullout of American forces from Syria would create the conditions that gave rise to IS.