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Putin applauds Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria



Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday applauded President Donald Trump’s decision to pull roughly 2,000 US troops out of Syria.

“On this, Donald is right. I agree with him,” Putin said to reporters, adding that the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, has suffered significant losses over the past year or so.

Putin added that he didn’t think US troops needed to be in Syria.

“Let’s not forget that the presence of [US] troops there is illegitimate,” Putin said. “The US is there without backing from the United Nations or an invitation from the Syrian government. Russia is there at the invitation of the Syrian government. But if the US has decided to withdraw, that’s good.”

Read more: There are 4 winners in the US withdrawal from Syria — and they’re all US adversaries

Meanwhile, Trump in a Thursday tweet claimed Russia is “not happy” the US is leaving Syria, claiming it signals they will now have to fight ISIS without US help.

“Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? Do we want to be there forever? Time for others to finally fight,” Trump said. “Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us. I am building by far the most powerful military in the world. ISIS hits us they are doomed!”

It’s unclear how Trump came to this conclusion given Putin’s statements. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.

Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria, which was announced on Thursday, is controversial. Critics, including some of Trump’s Republican allies in Congress, feel the move is a win for Russia, Iran, ISIS, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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