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Jeff Seldin @jseldin
, 11 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
White House defending @POTUS decision to pull US forces out of #Syria
"The president's statements on this topic have been 100% consistent" per a senior administration officials, adding "I would challenge that" when asked if stakeholders like @DeptofDefense @StateDept were unaware
White House insists @POTUS call w/#Turkey President Erdogan was not a factor in the decision on #Syria

"The president made his own decision" per the sr admin official "It's not something he discussed w/President Erdogan"
"Our understanding is that we will be doing this repositioning of troops & assets in an orderly fashion" senior administration official says re #Syria pullout, referring additional q's to the @DeptofDefense
"Our direction is to prioritize force protection"
NEW; Remaining #ISIS fighters holding out in #Hajin "can be eliminated both by our own guys and local and regional forces" senior administration official says of fight vs #ISIS in NE #Syria but does not say what more US forces are authorized to do as pullout gets underway
"Leaving troops in perpetuity is simply not the president's policy in the Middle East" per senior administration official - says comparisons to @BarackObama's #Iraq pullout is "apples and oranges"
"We have taken care of a particular element" per Sr Administration official of troop pullout and mission to defeat #ISIS in #Syria - says next phase vs ISIS "is to remain vigilant about the ongoing threat of ISIS. It's in #Libya. It's in #Sinai..."
As for #Iran, "There can be no doubt in anybody's mind...that we have in any way taken our foot off the pedal" per senior administration official, citing other steps @POTUS has taken to confront #Tehran
"We are transitioning primary responsibility for the defeat the few remaining #ISIS remnants in #Syria to our allies and partners (on the ground)" per 2nd senior administration official
"The #Syria|n #Kurds were the first to answer the United States’ call for partners in the fight to defeat #ISIS" per the official "For four years, these brave men and women – warriors – partnered with us to liberate their homelands and to destroy ISIS"
In response to question about what event or development on the ground in #Syria prompted @POTUS decision, official replied: "The President has long indicated his desire to bring US troops home after the completion of this phase of the campaign against #ISIS"
US troops "were always there to destroy the territorial caliphate of #ISIS" per sr administration official "I think president was perfectly justified when he judged that mission was at an end"
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