Rand Paul praises US withdrawal from Syria

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill Democratic senator to offer amendment halting 'military weaponry' given to police Second senator tests positive for coronavirus antibodies MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

"I am happy to see a President who can declare victory and bring our troops out of a war," Paul wrote in a tweet.

The White House said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. has "started returning United States troops home" from Syria and claimed victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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"These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign. We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign. The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Trump on Twitter appeared to tout the removal of troops as he declared victory over ISIS.

Earlier Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration would immediately begin removing 2,000 troops from northern Syria.

The decision was harshly criticized by Republicans including Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery's Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people's relationship with culture, art; Trump's war with Twitter heats up Cheney says Trump should stop tweeting Scarborough conspiracy Trump again tweets about Scarborough conspiracy, despite heavy criticism MORE (Ill.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), who said in a statement that removing troops would be an "Obama-like mistake."

"Staying there is an insurance policy against the reemergence of ISIS and destruction of our Kurdish allies who fought so bravely against them," said Graham, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.