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Graham told reporters that Trump was committed to making sure Turkey did not clash with the Kurdish YPG forces once US troops leave Syria, and was assuring the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally that it would have a buffer zone in the region to help protect its own interests.

Arab states, including some that once backed rebels against President Bashar al-Assad, are seeking to reconcile with him after decisive gains by his forces in the war, aiming to expand their clout in Syria at the expense of non-Arab Turkey and Iran. We have other bases in the general area.

"Syria was lost long ago", Mr Trump told reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting in the White House.

When he announced he was pulling troops from Syria, Trump said the withdrawal would be rapid.

Critics of Trump's decision for the withdrawal not only warn of a resurgence of ISIL, but worry that the withdrawal is a betrayal of US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria and leaves them vulnerable to an attack from Turkish forces. "Number one, make sure that ISIS never comes back in Syria", he said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union".

Pentagon officials told President Donald Trump that his order to withdraw troops from Syria within 30 days was physically impossible without significant risk to U.S. forces, multiple informed sources tell CNN, and the new 120-day timeline is not an example of anything but reality, logistics, and physics.

Islamic State, or ISIS, is "mostly gone", he said, and the U.S. is slowly pulling out, "while at the same time fighting ISIS remnants".

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump's withdrawal plans and if there were any official changes to them. Garrett Marquis, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, stated, "Ambassador John Bolton will travel to Israel and Turkey in early January to discuss the deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of US forces from Syria, and increased cooperation with the Turkish military and other partners".

"It is Fake News and Pundits who have FAILED for years that are doing the complaining".

"I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places", the president wrote. "Just doing what I said I was going to do!" the president said.

The president has long campaigned for the removal of US troops from the Middle East, arguing that there was no benefit for the country to be involved in the many conflicts there.

Trump had earlier stunned allies - and prompted the resignation of his respected defense secretary, Jim Mattis - by abruptly announcing that the jihadists were defeated and that U.S. troops in Syria were ready to leave.

"After discussions with the President and (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph) Dunford, I never felt better about where we are headed", Graham said. "I'm not happy about it at all", he said.