Trump did not discuss Syria pullout with Erdogan in advance: U.S. official

FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump (L) talks to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 11 July 2018. /Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump did not discuss in advance his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.

“The president made his own decision. It was not something he discussed with President Erdogan. He has informed President Erdogan of his decision,” said the official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

The official also said the United States believes the remaining pockets under Islamic State control in Syria can be eliminated by U.S. and remaining partner forces.

Reporting by Eric Beech and David Alexander