The Trump administration has "started returning" U.S. troops from Syria after a determination that it has "defeated the territorial caliphate" of the Islamic State, or ISIS, according to a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. She added that the country stands "ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary."
The big picture: Sanders' announcement comes after multiple media outlets reported that President Trump decided to pull all U.S. troops from Syria and the president tweeted that defeating ISIS was "the only reason" to have U.S. troops on the ground. More than 2,000 American military personnel are currently there. Leaving Syria after ISIS' defeat has previously been championed by Trump. He issued a surprise announcement back in March — much to the chagrin of many of his closest aides and later publicly softened — that U.S. personnel would leave the country "very soon."