An attack in Syria on Wednesday that left four Americans dead has thrown the spotlight back on the Trump administration's decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from the country as concerns intensify about additional attacks in the near future, The Washington Post reports.
Two service members, a civilian Pentagon official, and a U.S. contractor were killed after a suicide bomber blew himself up in northern Syria. Three more were injured. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
Trump during a speech at the Pentagon offered condolences to the families of those killed.
"I want to take a moment to express my deepest condolences to the families of the brave American heroes who laid down their lives [Wednesday] in selfless service to our nation," Trump said. "These are great people, great, great people. We will never forget their noble and immortal sacrifice."
The president last month announced the U.S. would pull troops out of Syria, a decision that led to the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis.
One official told the Post the U.S. would continue to be targeted as troops "constrict and destroy the last remnants of the caliphate that ISIS has moved toward an insurgency."
"As that insurgency develops, we'll be a prime target for that as we withdraw," the source said. "Everyone's aware of that, and it's part of our planning."
Kenneth M. Pollack, a scholar at the Brookings Institution, told the Post that ISIS could see an increase in recruiting and support if "they can claim credit for having driven the U.S. out of Syria or having accelerated the U.S. departure."
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