President Donald Trump said Monday he plans to withdraw remaining U.S. service members from northeast Syria, but he plans to keep the 1,000 troops that are coming out in the region to continue to monitor the situation.
"As United States forces have defeated the ISIS physical caliphate, United States troops coming out of Syria will now redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS raged across Syria and Iraq," Trump said in a statement he posted to Twitter.
In the same statement, the president also announced his plan to impose sanctions on Turkey for its "destabilizing actions" in northeast Syria.
Trump said a "small footprint" of U.S. forces will remain at At Tanf Garrison in southeast Syria, where they will continue to "disrupt remnants of ISIS."
Before issuing his statement, Trump posted a series of tweets explaining his controversial decision to move troops out of Syria, and declared he would rather concentrate on protecting the border between Mexico and the United States than that between Syria and Turkey.
"After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria," the president tweeted. "Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land. I said to my Generals, why should we be fighting for Syria and Assad to protect the land of our enemy?"
He added "anyone" who wants to help Syria to protect the Kurds is "good with me whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!"
"Some people want the United States to protect the 7,000 mile away Border of Syria, presided over by Bashar al-Assad, our enemy," he continued. "At the same time, Syria and whoever they chose to help, wants naturally to protect the Kurds."
He then posted he "much rather focus on our Southern Border which abuts and is part of the United States of America. And by the way, numbers are way down and the WALL is being built!"
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