The move came one day after Trump said the U.S. would end its military presence in Syria in the near future. "We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon," the president said Thursday. "Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we're coming out," he continued. "We're going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be."
Two unnamed senior administration officials told Reuters for a Friday report the president has made similar comments in private, indicating he wants to end American intervention in Syria now that the Islamic State, the United States' primary focus in the country, controls just 5 percent of the Syrian territory it once held.
Critics of the withdrawal proposal want the U.S. to stay in Syria long-term, attempting to shape the outcome of the civil war. The embattled Bashar al-Assad regime is backed by Iran and Russia, while the U.S. has supported Syrian rebels seeking to oust Assad.