The Latest: Trump declares win over Islamic State in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump pulling U.S. troops out of Syria (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is declaring victory against the Islamic State group in a new White House video explaining his sudden decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.

Trump says in the video, “We have won against ISIS.” And he says, “Now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”

Officials announced Wednesday Trump would be pulling all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, sparking alarm and outrage from Republican lawmakers.

The president’s sudden declaration of victory also contradicts his own experts’ assessments of the situation on the ground.

Trump says it is “heartbreaking” to have to write letters and make calls to the loved ones of those killed in battle.

He says, “They’re all coming back and they’re coming back now.”

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6:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is pulling all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, officials announced Wednesday as the president suddenly declared victory over the Islamic State, contradicting his own experts’ assessments and sparking surprise and outrage from his party’s lawmakers who called his action rash and dangerous.

The U.S. began airstrikes in Syria in 2014, and ground troops moved in the following year to battle the Islamic State, or ISIS, and train Syrian rebels in a country torn apart by civil war. Trump abruptly declared their mission accomplished in a tweet.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” he said as Vice President Mike Pence met with top leaders at the Pentagon.

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