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00:00:00
>> Now we've won.>> President Donald Trump on Thursday, defending his abrupt decision to pull US troops out of Syria amid a thunderous outcry from across the political spectrum.>> Catastrophic mistake.>> In a series of early morning Tweets, Trump said he was keeping a campaign promise to leave Syria.
00:00:17
Saying the move means Russia, Iran, and Syria will have to fight the militant group Islamic State without US help. This, despite releasing a video Wednesday, saying IS had already been defeated.>> And we've really stepped it up, and we have won against ISIS.>> Republican allies, like Lindsey Graham, fiercely rejecting that conclusion.
00:00:37
>> None of us believe that ISIS has been defeated. It is in our national security interest not to withdraw at this time in my view.>> Senator Marco Rubio warning the removal of the US presence in Syria would invite and ISIS resurgence.>> And before long we are all gonna be talking about ISIS again producing videos, kidnapping people, beheading people, taking territory, terrorizing people.
00:01:00
>> In August, the Pentagon estimated that as many as 14,500 ISIS fighters remained in Syria. The decision to withdraw about 2,000 US special forces came as a shock to the Pentagon and to US allies. Reuter's Pentagon reporter Idrees Ali.>> Operational commanders, US military commanders on the ground, were caught by surprise by the Trump announcement and the Trump decision.
00:01:23
It's a part of the world, really, that was relying on the United States. Not only to fight ISIS but to sort of be a stabilizing factor. Regional allies will be concerned, and have expressed concern, about what this really means for US influence in the region.>> Some of the most cutting comments Thursday morning coming from the hosts of Fox and Friends, normally some of Trump's most reliable defenders.
00:01:44
>> Nobody thinks ISIS is defeated. Nobody who understands, who was born after 2000, who sees what's happened after 9/11.>> US special forces had been on the ground assisting an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.>> It is something that really puts them in tough spot.
00:02:01
It essentially betrays the Syrian Democratic Forces.>> Until now, the US has been leading a coalition air campaign against Islamic State, dropping more than 100,000 bombs and missiles against the group in Syria and Iraq. US officials say the bombing campaign will likely end when the troops come home.