Trump Freezes Funds for Syrian Recovery, Signaling Pullback

President Donald Trump froze more than $200 million in funds for recovery efforts in Syria as his administration reassesses Washington’s broader role in the protracted conflict there.

The White House ordered the State Department to put the spending on hold, U.S. officials said, a decision in line with Mr. Trump’s declaration on Thursday that America would exit Syria and “let the other people take care of it now.”

Mr. Trump called for the freeze after reading a news report noting that the U.S. had recently committed an additional $200 million to support early recovery efforts in Syria, said the officials. Departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged the money in February in Kuwait at a meeting of the coalition to defeat Islamic State.

The shift comes as the fight against Islamic State has stalled, U.S. military officials concede. Pentagon officials have told Mr. Trump the insurgent group has lost control of all but about 5% of the Syrian territory it once held, but fighting for that final swath has reached an impasse

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