Trump pushes withdrawal from ‘endless’ Afghanistan, Syria wars

Manila Bulletin News | 2/4/2019 | Staff
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Pushing back against Republican opposition, US President Donald Trump reaffirmed his determination to pull US troops out of “endless wars” in Syria and Afghanistan, in an interview that aired Sunday. But he said they would stay in Iraq to watch Iran.

Trump - Cost - Blood - Money - Years

Trump cited the high cost in blood and money after years of fighting in Afghanistan, in arguing for a US withdrawal from the place where the 9/11 attacks were hatched.

“It’s time,” he said in the interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And we’ll see what happens with the Taliban. They want peace. They’re tired. Everybody’s tired.”

Trump - Comments - Face - Warnings - US

Trump’s comments come in the face of warnings by US intelligence chiefs that a hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria could allow a resurgence by Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

On Thursday, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly for a measure sponsored by Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of Trump’s Republican party, warning against a “precipitous withdrawal” from either country.

Trump - Republican - Pushback - Promises - US

But Trump appeared unmoved by the rare Republican pushback, noting that his promises to bring US troops home was “a big part” of the reason he was elected.

US officials have been holding talks in Qatar with the Taliban on a framework for peace negotiations, raising prospects for a breakthrough in the 17-year-old conflict.

Syria - Trump - US - Troops - Country

On Syria, Trump said the 2,000 US troops in the country to assist local forces would leave “in a matter of time” but cited the need to protect Israel “and other things that we have” for slowing down — after initially announcing an immediate pull-out.

He said he will soon be announcing the recapture of “100 percent of the caliphate” once claimed by the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Percent - President

“We’re at 99 percent right now. We’ll be at 100,” said the president, who was expected to make...
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