Trump Didn´t Consult Military on Withdrawal from Syria

US President Donald Trump says

US President Donald Trump says"it's time to bring home troops from Afghanistan

The top American general who oversees military operations in the Middle East told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday he was not consulted before President Donald Trump announced he would withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria, The Hill reported. "I was not consulted", said US General Joseph Votel, head of the US military's Central Command, while acknowledging Trump had publicly expressed a desire to leave Syria at some point.

The measure says Daesh and al-Qaeda militants still pose a serious threat to the United States, and it warns that "a precipitous withdrawal" of U.S. forces from those countries could "allow terrorists to regroup, destabilize critical regions and create vacuums that could be filled by Iran or Russian Federation".

Trump's Syria withdrawal has fueled rare, vocal opposition from within his own Republican party.

On Monday, the Pentagon published a report which said Daesh could make a resurgence in the region without counterterrorism pressure.

It called on the Trump administration to certify conditions had been met for the groups' "enduring defeat" before any significant withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan.

Votel praises efforts by Iraq's security forces and a USA -backed coalition of Syrian fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Force.

"As I read it, it recognises. his effort for us to examine exactly what we are doing in these places", Risch said.

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Islamic State militants have lost territory since Trump's surprise announcement in December that he was pulling U.S. forces out, but military officials warn the fighters could regroup within six months to a year after the Americans leave.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference to mark six months since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in the White House East Room in Washington, U.S., June 29, 2018.

U.S. officials in recent weeks say Islamic State has lost 99.5 percent of its territory and is holding on to fewer than 10 square kilometres of turf in Syria - an area smaller than New York's Central Park.

It said the group was interested in attacking aviation and using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials and that there were up to 18,000 Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, including up to 3,000 foreign fighters.

Votel was asked at Tuesday's hearing whether he was asked for his advice about a Syria withdrawal before Trump announced his decision.

Officials said that overall, about 2,000 ISIS militants remain in Syria.

A report by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that Islamic State has transformed into a covert network, including in its strongholds of Syria and Iraq, but is still a threat with centralized leadership, up to $300 million at its disposal and thousands of fighters.

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