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Trump signals possible flexibility on pace of Syria withdrawal

President Donald Trump signaled possible flexibility in the pace of a US withdrawal from Syria, saying the United States would protect the Kurds.
U.S. and Turkish soldiers conduct the first-ever combined joint patrol outside Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. Courtesy Arnada Jones/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC17C4EA11D0

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, meeting with his shrunken Cabinet today for the first time in the new year amid a government shutdown, said he was still determined to remove US forces from Syria. But he suggested possible flexibility in the pace of the US withdrawal that he abruptly announced last month, prompting the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

“I never said fast or slow,” Trump said, answering a journalist’s question about his timetable for a US withdrawal from Syria during a televised, 100-minute Cabinet meeting today. “Somebody said four months, but I did not say that either.” 

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