Trump declares victory over Islamic State
December 20, 2018 -- President Trump is withdrawing American troops from Syria, declaring “We have won” against so-called Islamic State (IS).
The announcement comes as Turkey is preparing to launch a new offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters.
The decision brought a storm of protest in Congress. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis argued that a withdrawal would, essentially, surrender Western influence in Syria to Russia and Iran.
The decision came after a phone call between Trump and his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday. The Kurds have been an ally of the U.S. in Syria and Washington has depended on Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to fight Islamic State.