“We’ve won, we beat ISIS, and we beat ’em badly and decisively. We have no soldiers. The last thing I want to do is bring thousands and thousands of soldiers in and defeat everybody again. We’ve already done that,” Trump said.
said in a statement on Tuesday: “We have made no changes to our force presence in Syria at this time.” Less than an hour after Trump made his Thursday claim that there are “no soldiers in Syria,” a senior State Department official told reporters that the US military mission in Syria is ongoing.
“We had and still have a significant military mission there to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, also to maintain the stability of northeast Syria and the region given our other critical missions in the Near East,” the official said on a conference call conducted on condition of anonymity.
Trump had tweeted that we “no longer have any troops in the area under attack by Turkey, in Syria.” That narrower claim about the particular “area under attack” is correct.
He said he hopes to be able to mediate a deal. He added later: “I don’t think the American people want to see us go back in with our military, go back in to that area again. We won, we left the area, I don’t think we want to go back in. Let’s see what happens.”
A vow not yet kept
It is obviously noteworthy when the President claims there are not American troops in a country where there are about 1,000 American troops. It is especially noteworthy because Trump declared nearly 10 months ago that he would be immediately withdrawing all US troops from Syria.
said in a tweeted video message in December. “We won, and that’s the way we want it, and that’s the way they want it.”
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.