19:11 GMT +318 October 2018
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    US forces are seen at the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) headquarters after it was hit by Turkish airstrikes in Mount Karachok near Malikiya, Syria April 25, 2017.

    Trump: US to Leave Syria 'Very Soon' to Let Others Take Care of It

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    United States President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that the US would be withdrawing forces from Syria "very soon" and "let the other people take care of it" instead.

    "We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it," Trump said during a speech in Ohio.

    There are around 2,000 US troops in Syria, the Pentagon has said. 

    "We're knocking the hell out of ISIS (Daesh). We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we're coming out. We're going to have 100 percent of the caliphate, as they call it--sometimes referred to as land. We're taking it all back--quickly, quickly," Trump said to a cheering crowd. 

    It's not clear what taking the land back means. The Syrian and Russian governments have consistently called the US military presence in Syria "illegal." 

    When asked whether she is aware of a policy determination to pull the United States out of Syria on Thursday, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, "I am not."

    It's also not clear whether Trump's on-stage policy announcement equates to an actual change in policy. On Thursday afternoon, Defense Department spokeswoman Dana White told reporters that "important work remains to guarantee the lasting defeat of these violent extremists." 

    ​"Our commitment to win must outlast the so-called physical caliphate, and the warped ideas that guide the cruelty of ISIS," White noted. 

    Trump was talking on the topic of infrastructure. "We build a school. They blow it up. We build a school, they blow it up. You know what we have for it? Nothing… I used to say, keep the oil! If we kept the oil, we would have been okay. If we kept the oil, we wouldn't have ISIS! They kept the oil, we didn't keep the oil. Stupid! Stupid!"

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