"Now it is 100 percent [of the caliphate in Syria] we just took over", Trump said during a refueling stop at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, a US military facility in Alaska. Trump said the campaign to capture the territory had taken less time than his generals had expected.
"We did it in a much shorter period of time than it was supposed to be", he added. The US leader made a stop in Alaska en route to Washington, DC from Hanoi, where he held a two-day summit with North Korean leader Kin Jong-un.
In December, Trump announced that all US forces would leave Syria and declared the complete Daesh defeat in the war-torn country, without specifying the deadlines for the pullout. Trump later added that "local countries", including Turkey, should "take care" of the situation and deal with remaining terror threat.
Ankara, in turn, claims that Kurdish militia operating in the north of Syria pose a threat to Turkey's security. In January 2018, Turkey launched a military operation in the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin against the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which is regarded by Turkey as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.
Following the statement, Iraqi Parliament First Deputy Speaker Hassan Kaabi said that the legislature intended to work out a bill on termination of the security agreement with the United States, which will lead to withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country. Iraqi President Barham Salih also noted that Washington did not request permission from Baghdad to deploy US troops to the country in order to "watch" Tehran.
*Daesh, also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State, is the terrorist groups banned in Russia and many other countries.