The New York Times has cited two unnamed US administration officials as saying that President Donald Trump will give the Pentagon about four months to withdraw American troops from Syria.
The officials referred to the US president's meeting with Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, head of the Combined Joint Task Force fighting Daesh* in the region, during which Trump said that the troops could have several months to ensure a "succinct departure".
Pentagon spokesman Sean Robertson, in turn, was quoted by the New York Times as saying that "I'll let the president's words speak for themselves."
"If anybody but Donald Trump did what I did in Syria, which was an ISIS loaded mess when I became President, they would be a national hero," he tweeted.
The remarks came after the White House announced on December 19 that it will be withdrawing US troops from Syria within the next 60 to 100 days.
The decision was criticised by some US officials and followed by two resignations — US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, who announced that his views were no longer aligned with Trump's, and Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the US coalition in Syria.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia