On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced that it has started the process of withdrawing all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria after the White House confirmed President Donald Trump had given the surprise order to leave because ISIS there had been “defeated.”
The announcement was met with backlash from Capitol Hill, and Wednesday afternoon Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker was headed to the White House for an unscheduled meeting with the president.
“Five years ago, ISIS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign.”
Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement on Wednesday that the U.S. had “started the process of returning U.S. troops home from Syria.” Once officially ordered by Defense Secretary James Mattis, the withdrawal would be completed within 30 days.