WASHINGTON – Declaring victory over the Islamic State, President Donald Trump has ordered U.S troops in Syria be withdrawn from their posts, the White House said Wednesday.
The withdrawal of the more than 2,000 troops is based on Trump’s decision that the mission against ISIS is complete, a U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly before it was announced by the White House, told USA TODAY.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that the U.S. has “defeated the territorial caliphate.”
“These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign,” Sanders said in a statement. “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.”
She did not offer details on the “next phase” of the campaign against ISIS in her statement.
In a tweet earlier on Wednesday morning, Trump also declared victory.
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” he wrote.
Despite Trump’s claims that the war against the Islamic State has been won, fighting by U.S.-led forces continues there.