SPECIAL REPORT – This is a Special Report from The Cipher Brief
The White House has confirmed President Trump’s intentions to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president said in a Twitter post on Wednesday. He offered no details on his plans for the military mission, nor a larger strategy, in Syria.
Terrorism experts have expressed serious concern over how an uncoordinated withdrawal of troops could create fertile ground for terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda to regroup. Others are concerned about the opportunities it creates for the government of Bashar al-Assad as well as Russia and Iran, key players in the region.
“The president has made a decision to withdraw, and withdrawing from Syria, in the face of ISIS still remaining there, is similar to the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan after the Soviet war,” says Dr. Kimberly Kagan, founder of the Institute for the Study of War, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization. “This is exactly how we got to 9/11, and the president has set us on a course to be out of Syria as ISIS revives its organization and its military capabilities.”
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