Top Republican Indicates Trump Rethinking Plans to Withdraw from Syria

Trump Goes Wobbly on Threats

Trump added that the fight against the Islamic State would continue - "you can do two things at once" - and said, "We have other bases in the general area. Watch what happens because he's got plans and I won't get ahead of his announcement, but he did want me to convey that", she said on "Fox News Sunday". But "other people do", and he concluded: "We want to protect the Kurds".

Graham, who as a member of the Armed Services committee has frequently visited USA troops in combat zones, was once a frequent critic of Trump but, reversing course, now frequently defends him and seems to have gained privileged access to the president's ear.

"Ambassador John Bolton will travel to Israel and Turkey in early January to discuss the deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of US forces from Syria, and increased cooperation with the Turkish military and other partners", Marquis said in a statement, adding that Dunford and Jeffrey would be traveling with Bolton in Turkey.

Iraqi warplanes hit a meeting of leaders of the militant Islamic State group near Deir al-Zor in Syria on Monday, destroying the building they were gathered in, the military said in a statement, without giving further details about the militants targeted. "To be able to leave Syria and make sure ISIS never comes back".

US President Donald Trump has agreed to allow the US military to gradually pull troops out of Syria over a period of about four months, the New York Times reported late Monday in another indication Trump had backtracked on shock plans for an immediate withdrawal.

In the past, Trump has said he has great admiration for the Kurds, describing them as great fighters.

"I think we're in a pause situation", the South Carolina Republican said outside the White House after lunch with the President.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus suggests that Mr Trump appears to be washing his hands of Syria and handing the whole job over to Russia, Turkey and Iran.

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Netanyahu said he was happy to meet Pompeo for the second time in a month, saying they had "a lot to discuss" about their "common aims".

Trump abruptly announced in mid-December that he was withdrawing 2,000 US troops from Syria. "They're inside the 10-yard line in defeating ISIS, but we're not there yet". He also said Russian Federation "hates ISIS more than we do".

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) had confirmed earlier that they were evacuating the town, which they seized from the Daesh terrorist group in 2016.

"We're in countries that most people have never even heard about", he said, referring to United States combat deployments, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Two people have resigned since the decision was announced - Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and a top United States official in the fight against IS, Brett McGurk.

"He has not reversed his decision" to withdraw troops from Syria, Graham said.

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

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