“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” he said in a tweet. U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that all American troops currently in Syria will be withdrawn. There are currently around 2,000 U.S. troops inside Syria fighting ISIS alongside the Kurds and Syrian rebels.

“We’ve been fighting for a long time in Syria … And we have won, against ISIS. We’ve beaten them, and we’ve beaten them badly. We’ve taken back the land, and it’s time for our troops to come back home,” said President Trump, in a recorded address. He continued by citing that the cost to the nation’s warfighters and their families has been great. “I get very saddened when I have to write letters or call parents, or wives, or husbands of soldiers who have been killed fighting for our country … There’s no question about it: it’s heart-breaking. Now, we’ve won. It’s time to come back. They’re getting ready, you’re going to see them soon,” he added.

From its behalf, the Pentagon initially declined to comment on the president’s remarks and simply stated that as of now, U.S. troops continued to bring the fight to ISIS. A few hours thereafter, however, the Department of Defence (DoD) released a succinct statement saying that the military has begun the withdrawing of troops in anticipation for the next phase of the campaign. DoD spokesperson Dana White added that “the coalition has liberated the ISIS-held territory, but the campaign against ISIS is not over.” But she declined to comment on what this next phase will look like for operational security (OPSEC) reasons.

It is important to note that this hasn’t been the first time that U.S. troops are “withdrawing” from Syria. During the 2016 Presidential Election, the then-candidate Trump promised to pull out from what he deemed as a costly conflict with unclear benefits to the U.S.