Walking back Syria withdrawal, Trump cites need to watch Iran, 'protect' Israel

Walking back Syria withdrawal, Trump cites need to watch Iran, 'protect' Israel

Let's see what happens.

Mr Trump did not say whether he trusted Afghanistan's Taliban insurgent group but said he believed they want peace. "In other words, we had Iraq".

Trump's abrupt announcement in December he would pull all American soldiers from Syria, saying the Islamic State had been defeated, set off alarm bells in Israel, which has being carrying out a campaign to prevent an Iranian military presence there.

He said some of the forces moving out of Syria will go to the base in Iraq and "ultimately some will be coming home".

"We're at 99 percent right now, we'll be at 100", said the president, who was expected to make the announcement during his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Mr Trump said the United States had spent a "fortune" on the Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq, which he visited in December, and that the United States should hold on to it. You're keeping troops in Iraq because you want to be able to strike in Iran?

As a result of that intelligence assessment under the Bush administration, Trump said the USA spent $7 trillion in the Middle East and lost hundreds of lives. We might as well keep it. All I want to do is be able to watch.

He also said the national security advisers' false assessment on Iraq led the U.S. to engage in a war that it should never have been. "It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up", he said. "We're going to keep watching and if there's trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we're going to know it before they do".

The president also said he would keep a reduced military and intelligence presence in Afghanistan long-term, and that he would be willing to "come back if we have to".

On Thursday, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly for a measure sponsored by Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, warning against a "precipitous withdrawal" from Afghanistan and Syria.

Trump denounced intelligence failures on former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's alleged "weapons of mass destruction" that led the administration of president George W Bush to invade the country in March 2003.

In a report to Congress last week, United States intelligence leaders warned that IS still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria, and they could easily spring back in the absence of U.S. forces.

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