Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led the Pentagon through the first two years of the Trump administration, warned during an exclusive interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that the president's decision to pull troops from Syria's border in advance of a Turkish incursion could have dire consequences and lead to ISIS's resurgence, NBC News reports.
"We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don't recover," Mattis said in response to "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd's asking whether the United States would regret Trump's decision.
"We may want a war over; we may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out as President Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the 'enemy gets the vote', we say in the military. And in this case, if we don't keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It's absolutely a given that they will come back."
Trump announced the decision to move U.S. forces from the region of northern Syria bordering Turkey on Sunday, stating that Turkey wanted to begin an operation in the region to resettle Syrian refugees.