Trump Cites ‘Need To Watch Iran, Protect “Israel”’
By Staff, Agencies
US President Donald Trump reaffirmed his determination to pull US troops out of "endless wars" in Syria and Afghanistan, but claimed they should stay in Iraq to watch Iran.
In an interview airing Sunday, Trump cited the high cost in blood and money after years of fighting in Afghanistan, in arguing for a US withdrawal from the place where the 9/11 attacks were hatched.
"It's time," he said in the interview with CBS's Face the Nation. "And we'll see what happens with the Taliban. They want peace. They're tired. Everybody's tired."
On Syria, Trump said the 2,000 US troops in the country would leave "in a matter of time" but cited the need to protect ‘Israel’ "and other things that we have" for slowing down after initially announcing an immediate pull-out.
We have to protect ‘Israel.’ We have to protect other things that we have, he said.
He said he will soon be announcing the recapture of "100 percent of the caliphate" once claimed by Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] in Iraq and Syria.
"We're at 99 percent right now, we'll be at 100," said Trump, who was expected to make the announcement during his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday.
He said, however, the United States will not give up its bases in Iraq.
"We spent a fortune on building this incredible base. We might as well keep it. And one of the reasons I want to keep it is because I want to be looking a little bit at Iran because Iran is a real problem," he added.
"I want to be able to watch Iran. All I want to do is be able to watch," he claimed.
"We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq. It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up," he added.
"We're going to keep watching and we're going to keep seeing and if there's trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we're going to know it before they do," he said.