WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against the Islamic State, according to U.S. and Turkish officials. Trump stunned his Cabinet, lawmakers and much of the world with the move by rejecting the advice of his top aides and agreeing to a withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, two officials briefed on the matter said. The Dec. 14 call, described by officials who were not authorized to discuss the decision-making process publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, is a view into a Trump decision with profound consequences, including the resignation of widely respected Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The White House, State Department and Pentagon all declined to comment on the account of the withdrawal decision. U.S. troops first moved into Syria in 2015 to fight the Islamic State group, a year after the Pentagon first launched a campaign of airstrikes against the extremists in Iraq and Syria. Local ground forces with close U.S. support slowly pushed back IS in the years that followed and by… Read full this story
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