President Donald Trump has told advisers he wants an early exit of U.S. troops from Syria, two senior administration officials said on Friday, a stance that may put him at odds with U.S. military officials who see the fight against Islamic State as nowhere near complete.
A National Security Council meeting is set for early next week to discuss the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State in Syria, according to U.S. officials familiar with the plan.
Two other administration officials confirmed a Wall Street Journal report on Friday that said Trump had ordered the State Department to freeze more than $200 million in funds for recovery efforts in Syria while his administration reassesses Washington’s role in the conflict there.
The decision to freeze the funds was in line with Trump’s declaration during a speech in Richfield, Ohio, on Thursday, where he said it was time for America to exit Syria.
A spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council said that “in line with the President’s guidance, the Department of State continually re-evaluates appropriate assistance levels and how best they might be utilized, which they do on an ongoing basis.”