James Mattis

Trump backtracks on Syria after talks with French leader

So much for an abrupt U.S. pullout from Syria.

One month ago President Donald Trump surprised many, including some in his own administration, by announcing, "We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now." He insisted that the time had come for the U.S. military to shift its focus away from Syria.

But on Tuesday, it was clear that something or someone had changed Trump's mind.

The president said at a White House news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at his side that before the U.S. withdraws from Syria, "we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint." This long-term approach, he...