US president says 'we're slowly sending our troops back home' after initially ordering a rapid withdrawal..
US President Donald Trump has agreed to allow about four months for the US military to pull its troops out of Syria, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing administration officials.
The report came after Trump tweeted that "we're slowly sending our troops back home", backtracking on his initial order for a rapid withdrawal.
Trump unexpectedly announced the troop pull-out on December 19, and US media, citing military officials, reported the withdrawal would take place within 30 days.
But on Monday, the New York Times reported that Trump privately told Paul J LaCamera, the commander of US forces in Iraq and Syria, last week that he could have several months to pull the some 2,000 US troops out.
Military officials declined the New York Times's request to specify when the departure will take place. The newspaper noted the security concerns and that officials are aware that Trump may change his mind at any time.
On Sunday, US Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump had agreed to slow down the timetable. Graham told reporters that he was "going to ask [Trump] to sit down with his generals and reconsider how to do this".
Trump initially said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) had been defeated, but he has somewhat backtracked on that claim, saying now that ISIL is "mostly gone".
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