President Trump has demanded that the U.S. finish its mission in Syria within six months, CNN reported Thursday. The request for a hasty retreat is apparently meant to achieve the "rapid end" to U.S. involvement in the country that the White House promised Wednesday.
There are roughly 2,000 troops in Syria, working to fight against the Islamic State, but the White House said yesterday that ISIS is "almost completely destroyed." Despite the protests of his national security team and top military officials, CNN reports, Trump said that the mission needs to be finished in six months so that troops can come home.
An anonymous administration official told CNN that Defense Secretary James Mattis tried to warn Trump that six months was simply too short a deadline, but Trump apparently told the group to "just get it done."
Advisers reportedly told Trump that leaving Syria so quickly would leave the region open to increased involvement from Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Trump was reportedly frustrated, and spent much of the meeting complaining about the cost of U.S. involvement in Syria without anything in return. Officials denied that a timeline for withdrawal was discussed, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that Trump would not "put an arbitrary timeline" on winning the battle against ISIS. Read more at CNN.