White House condemns 'terror attack' that killed US troops in Syria

White House condemns 'terror attack' that killed US troops in Syria
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The White House on Wednesday condemned what it called a “terrorist attack” that killed several U.S. troops in Syria.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE and I condemn the terrorist attack in Syria that claimed American lives and our hearts are with the loved ones of the fallen,” Vice President Pence said in a statement. “We honor their memory and we will never forget their service and sacrifice.”

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In a separate statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered “our deepest sympathies and love” to the families of the troops who were killed.

Trump himself has yet to publicly address the soldiers' deaths.

The statements came hours after the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said that multiple troops were killed in an explosion during a routine patrol.

ISIS has claimed credit for the attack.

The strike came less than a month after Trump announced his intention to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.

It raised doubts about the administration’s claim that ISIS has been defeated, which it has used to justify the withdrawal of roughly U.S. 2,000 service members in Syria.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain MORE (R-S.C.), a Trump supporter who criticized the decision, said the attack shows the U.S. needs to keep a military presence there to fight the remnants of ISIS.

Pence repeated the claim the militant group has been “defeated,” but later said in his statement that the U.S.-led coalition has “crushed the ISIS caliphate and devastated its capabilities.”

“As we begin to bring our troops home, the American people can be assured, for the sake of our soldiers, their families, and our nation, we will never allow the remnants of ISIS to reestablish their evil and murderous caliphate – not now, not ever,” he said.