Middle East expert says Trump's troop withdrawal from Syria is 'mayhem-inducing'

Middle East expert Nick Heras said on Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE's decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria isn't unsound, but the manner in which his administration is doing it is "mayhem-inducing." 

"President Trump's logic that we do need to begin a process of withdrawal isn't unsound, in fact, it is sound," Heras, a Middle East security fellow at the Center for a new American Security, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

"We should hope to have a smaller and smaller residual force on the ground. The question is, a sudden decision, a mayhem-inducing policy decision isn't the right way to do that," he continued. 

The U.S. military, which supports local forces, has been working to oust ISIS from its remaining pockets in the Middle Euphrates River Valley in Syria.

"President Trump is declaring victory way too early," Heras said. "There are still active combat operations against ISIS in eastern Syria. U.S. forces are deployed with our local partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, in that conflict, on top of which there's no process yet firmly established to build local security and governance in the wake of ISIS."

Trump announced in a tweet on Wednesday that ISIS in Syria has been defeated, and the White House later confirmed that the administration has "started returning United States troops home" while emphasizing that coalition efforts in Syria would continue. 



The announcement sparked bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill on Thursday, with many lawmakers calling on Trump to reconsider his decision. 

— Julia Manchester