By Finian Cunningham
February 07, 2019 "Information Clearing House"- President Trump plugged his troop pullout from Syria in the State of the Union address, but he didn’t sound convincing. Meanwhile, the Pentagon and Congress are intensifying the pushback for US military to remain in the region.
It seemed more a triumph of PR over substance and historical facts.
On Syria, he said it was “time to give our brave warriors a warm welcome home.” This was a follow-up vow to Trump’s surprise announcement on December 19 when he then ordered the withdrawal of some 2,000 US troops stationed in Syria. However, his Syrian plan sounds suspiciously hollow and non-committal.
It was notable that Trump did not give any details or timeframe for the purported drawdown of American forces from Syria. The matter was only briefly touched on in his address, which seems rather strange given that the “defeat of ISIS” is supposed to be a “historic victory” for his presidency.
Elsewhere, US officials are reported as confirming that the pullout from Syria is underway.
But there seems to be little evidence on the ground for the evacuation actually taking place. Indeed, Turkish media are reporting a build-up of US equipment in northeast Syria from across the border in Iraq. Though, that recent contingency could be part of an effort to ensure an eventual safe withdrawal of American personnel from Syria.
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