Rand Paul praises US withdrawal from Syria

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal House Republicans call for moving State of the Union to Senate chamber GOP rep: 'Rand Paul is giving the president bad advice' on Afghanistan and Syria MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeorge Conway: ‘Insane’ if Trump spoke to Cohen about testimony Fox’s Wallace to Pence: Is government shutdown all about ‘leverage?' Atlanta to commemorate renaming United Ave from Confederate Ave 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 KinzingerOn The Money: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown poised to become longest in history | Congress approves back pay for workers | More federal unions sue over shutdown Overnight Energy: House votes to reopen Interior, EPA | Dems question EPA over Wheeler confirmation prep | Virginia Dem backs Green New Deal House votes to reopen Interior, EPA as shutdown fight wages on 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.