Trump wants U.S. military in Iraq to ‘watch Iran’: CBS interview
The Republican president lamented “endless wars” in Syria and Afghanistan in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” and made clear he wants to reduce the costly U.S. military presence in those countries despite warnings against such moves from his military advisers and spy chiefs.
The United States could rely heavily on intelligence work in Afghanistan, he said, and respond to developments in Syria from U.S. bases in neighboring Iraq.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have sent weapons and thousands of soldiers to Syria to help shore up the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a 7-year civil war there.
Trump said the United States has spent a “fortune” on the Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq, which he visited in December, and that the United States should hold on to it.
“One of the reasons I want to keep it is because I want to be looking a little bit at Iran because Iran is a real problem,” he said in the CBS interview.
Asked if that meant he wanted to be able to strike against Iran, Trump said, “No, because I want to be able to watch Iran. All I want to do is be able to watch.”
The president defended his decision in December to withdraw troops from Syria but refused to provide a timetable for the pullout, which drew criticism from members of his own Republican Party and concerns among some allies.
Read More: Reuters
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