The White House has said that its mission to eradicate Islamic State in Syria is rapidly coming to an end, but has offered no timetable for withdrawal. The announcement is the latest in a long line of contradictory positions.

Following a meeting between President Donald Trump and his top national security advisers on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that the US remains committed to eliminating the last pockets of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) presence in Syria, and will consult with its allies regarding future plans.

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FILE PHOTO: American army vehicles drive north of Manbij city, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria March 9, 2017 © Rodi Said

Those future plans are up in the air, and are far less concrete than the position taken by Trump just a day earlier.

“I want to get out, I want to bring the troops back home, I want to start rebuilding our nation,” US President Donald Trump said Tuesday, during a news conference at the White House with leaders of the Baltic nations, noting that the “primary mission” of defeating the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists in Syria is “almost completed.”

The same day however, Trump also hinted that the US might be willing to stay in Syria if its Middle Eastern ally, Saudi Arabia, pays for US troop deployment.

“Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision,” Trump said, after reportedly discussing the situation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “And I said, well, you know, you want us to stay? Maybe you’re going to have to pay.”



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