DNI Dan Coats: U.S. Has Reached Decision on Whether to Pull Out of Syria

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said on Wednesday that the United States has reached a “decision” on whether to pull American troops out of Syria. But Coats declined to reveal that decision or assess the geopolitical consequences of the U.S. pulling out of the civil war-ravaged country. “I can’t go into the details of what was decided on yesterday with our national security team and with the president, but there will be released a statement shortly relative to the decision that was made on that topic,” Coats told reporters at a gathering of the Defense Writers Group in Washington. Later Wednesday, the White House released a statement that did not reference a “decision,” but stated that the U.S. and its allies “remain committed to eliminating the small ISIS presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated.” President Donald Trump has publicly suggested that the U.S. should leave Syria, where coalition forces are still fighting ISIS militants, but Brett McGurk, the State Department’s special envoy for the fight against ISIS, said the counter-ISIS mission “isn’t over” and “we’re going to complete that mission.”

—Andrew Desiderio