Trump defends Syria withdrawal, invokes memory of fallen soldiers

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, saying “we have won” the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In a video posted to his Twitter account, the president invoked the memory of service members who died fighting in the Middle Eastern country while explaining his decision.

“They're all coming back and they're coming back now. We won, and that's the way we want it and that's the way they want it,” Trump said while looking up and pointing to the sky.

Trump’s first explanation for the withdrawal came hours after the White House abruptly announced that U.S. soldiers would be leaving the war-torn country.

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The decision rankled Republicans, and some Democrats, on Capitol Hill who said they were left out of the loop and argued that pulling out of Syria would aid U.S. adversaries Iran and Russia, the main backers of Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

Administration officials struggled to explain how many of the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria would be coming home, when they would return and the reasoning for the decision.

Top U.S. national security officials had previously said the military was committed to maintaining a presence in Syria until ISIS was completely eradicated.

“It was the president's decision to make, and he made it,” said one senior administration official, who requested anonymity to discuss the withdrawal.

Trump has long spoken about his desire to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, dating back to the 2016 presidential campaign.