- The Washington Times - Friday, February 1, 2019

President Trump insisted Friday that the U.S. start withdrawing military forces from the Middle East, despite pleas to the contrary from the Senate.

The president took to Twitter to argue that he “inherited a total mess” with the military operations in Syria and Afghanistan and yet has made progress after years of fighting.

“It is now time to start coming home and, after many years, spending our money wisely. Certain people must get smart!” he wrote.

He highlighted the fact that U.S. and the Tablian are in talks to find a settlement after the military “hit them so hard” over the past 18 years. 

Mr. Trump qualified his statements on the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, after previously declaring the U.S. had soundly defeated the terrorist group.

“We will soon have destroyed 100% of the Caliphate, but will be watching them closely,” he wrote.

A wave of bipartisan backlash, including some of his most ardent allies in Congress, came after the president first announced his intention to withdraw from Syria in December.

Mr. Trump’s comments come the morning after a bipartisan coalition of senators voted to rebuke his stance on the Middle East.

The measure, which passed 68-23, declared that al Qaeda and ISIS are still global threats and urged the president to change course from a “precipitous withdrawal” in Syria and Afghanistan.

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