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QAMISHLI: Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces attend the funeral of a local official who was assassinated in a Kurdish-held area on Monday.—AFP
QAMISHLI: Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces attend the funeral of a local official who was assassinated in a Kurdish-held area on Monday.—AFP

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump reignited the pullout debate on Monday with a series of tweets, reiterating his pledge to call back all American troops from “never-ending wars.”

Last week, Mr Trump ordered the Pentagon to execute the “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US military from Syria, while his aides said that the president also plans to withdraw half of the 14,000 US troops still deployed in Afghanistan.

The two decisions were widely criticised — both in and outside the US — and earlier this week a White House National Security official Garrett Marquis told journalists that the president has not yet ordered the reported partial withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters after a lunch with Mr Trump that the president would be “slowing” the pullout from Syria to “assess the effects of the conditions on the ground.”

But Monday’s tweets indicate that Mr Trump remains firm in his decision to bring back American troops from war zones.

“I campaigned against the NEVER ENDING WARS, remember!” he tweeted. “I am the only person in America who could say that, ‘I’m bringing our great troops back home, with victory,’ and get BAD press.”

He said that if anybody but Donald Trump had done what he did in Syria, “they would be a national hero. ISIS is mostly gone, we’re slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting ISIS remnants.”

Reminding his critics that he ran his election campaign on the promise of “getting out of Syria and other places,” he wrote: “Now when I start getting out the Fake News Media, or some failed Generals who were unable to do the job before I arrived, like to complain about me & my tactics, which are working.”

Returning to his theme of withdrawing troops from the “never -ending wars,” President said: “Just doing what I said I was going to do” because the results of his efforts in those wars were “FAR BETTER than I ever said they were going to be!”

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2019