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Out from Syria but staying in Iraq: Trump is having it both ways, says Russia senator

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Moscow, Dec 27: The sudden announcement by US President Donald Trump to withdraw American forces from the war-torn country of Syria last week left divided opinions across the world. And the president's subsequent announcement soon after that the US will continue to maintain a military base in Iraq and use it to re-enter Syria if the need arises.

Out from Syria but staying in Iraq: Trump is having it both ways, says Russia senator

For the Russians, Trump was having it both ways. Senator Konstantin Kosachev said on Thursday, December 27, that the US president was trying to pacify the disappointed Republicans over his decision to withdraw troops from Syria, Russia's TASS news agency reported.

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Trump made a surprise visit to Iraq on Wednesday, December 26, along with his wife Melania where he spoke to the stationed American troops and thanked them for their service. On December 19, Trump had stressed that the Islamic State had been defeated and it was time to pull out American troops from Syria where war is been going on since 2011.

"Having stated, during a surprise visit to Iraq that he intended to keep a military base in that country as an advanced springboard for actions in Syria, US President Donald Trump is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, he still wants to demonstrate the intention to abandon the role of global policeman with the subsequent mission where American blood is spilt for the sake of a country, about which most of them can't find on a map. On the other hand, Trump certainly needs to quell discontent among the Republicans related to his decision on withdrawing US troops from Syria," Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Federation Council's (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on Facebook.

Kosachev also said that Trump's decision to pull out American forces from Syria served as grounds for resignation of the secretary of defence, Jim Mattis, who was apparently "more popular in Washington than Trump".

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