President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he decided to pull all U.S. troops out a Syria, a decision that surprised Trump’s allies in Congress and pleased Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the Washington Post, the Russian president addressed the issue at his annual end of the year news conference. “On this, Donald is right,” Putin said. “I agree with him.”
“If the United States decided to withdraw its force, then this would be right,” he added.
The United States embassy to Russia showed their support of the decision on Twitter Wednesday shortly after the announcement, sharing a Russian news agency article quoting a Russian diplomat that argued the removal of U.S. troops “creates good prospects for a political solution in that Arab country.”
— Russia in USA ?? (@RusEmbUSA) December 19, 2018
Even though Putin and other Russians are openly celebrating the announcement from Trump, the president insisted that it’s “fake news.” “Russia, Iran, Syria and many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us.”
….Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us. I am building by far the most powerful military in the world. ISIS hits us they are doomed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2018
Trump’s argument Thursday morning that ISIS is still present in the country contradicts a claim he made just the day before, where he argued that he was pulling out U.S. troops because ISIS was “defeated.”
We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
Multiple politicians and security experts immediately discredited this claim.
As IJR Red reported, Sen. Lindsey Graham, usually a stark supporter of the president, said that withdrawing troops in Syria would be a “huge Obama-like mistake.”
One U.S. defense official told Reuters that many people in the Pentagon believe the withdrawal of troops would benefit Russia and Iran.
Even Putin retorted Trump’s claims on ISIS.
“As for defeating ISIS, I do generally agree with the president of the United States. We’ve achieved some major advances when it comes to defeating the terrorists,” he said, according to Politico.
“Whether do we need the presence of the American military, I guess we do not need that presence,” Putin continued. “The presence of your troops is illegitimate so if you’ve made this decision it is the right decision.”