Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Donald Trump's surprise announcement of U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, calling it "the right decision." Nice to know the boss approves!
Putin made the remarks at his yearly press conference, his 14th annual Q&A, which Russian and foreign media attended in Moscow.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Trump said on Wednesday that he was ordering the withdrawal because the United States military had achieved its goal of defeating the Islamic State militant group in Syria. But the move caught many by surprise, including some of his military and diplomatic advisers.
It has also drawn criticism, even among Republicans, for abandoning Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State and for aiding the geopolitical ambitions of Iran and Russia in the Middle East. Speaking at his annual news conference, which typically runs for several hours, Mr. Putin said he broadly agreed that the Islamic State had been defeated in Syria.
"Donald's right, and I agree with him," Mr. Putin said.
"Donald" announced the decision to withdraw from Syria on Wednesday via a video posted to his Twitter feed.
After historic victories against ISIS, it's time to bring our great young people home! pic.twitter.com/xoNjFzQFTp
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seemed surprised by the tweeted announcement, but lined right up to cheer Russian foreign policy goals achieved so deftly by the United States.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 20, 2018
What is this even?
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2018
RT's copy of Putin's remarks below.
Here's a clip in which Putin describes the U.S. presence in Syria as "illegitimate.
RT has the entire press conference here in video.