U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has outlined three goals of the Trump administration in Syria: a ban on the use of chemical weapons, a full defeat of ISIS, and preventing Iran from “taking over the area.”

“We want to make sure that the influence of Iran doesn't take over the area,” Haley said in an April 15 appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation. “They continue to cause problems throughout the region, and we want to make sure that there is a hold.”

Haley denied the existence of any fixed date for the return of U.S. troops from Syria, insisting, “we haven't said that we're going to bring them home in six months. What we are saying is at some point we want to see our military come home.”

But later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders once again reiterated that President Donald Trump "has been clear that he wants U.S. forces to come home as quickly as possible."

While these two statements are not exactly contradictory, the prevailing sense among observers is that Trump is not comfortable projecting U.S. power on the ground in Syria, and air strikes can only have a limited effect in the war-torn country.

A total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria would worry Israel most of all. Israel has expressed concern in the past that such a withdrawal could create a power vacuum in Syria for Iran to expand its influence.

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