Trump considers keeping a few hundred troops in eastern Syria

Mon 21 Oct 2019 19:55 GMT | 23:55 Local Time

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U.S. President Donald Trump is considering keeping a small contingent of U.S. troops in eastern Syria to combat the Islamic State (IS) and secure the oil fields in the region, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The news came one day after Pentagon's plan of repositioning roughly 1,000 U.S. troops withdrawing from northeastern Syria into western Iraq while leaving some forces at At Tanf garrison in southern Syria.

Citing a senior administration official, The New York Times reported that Trump is leaning in favor of a new Pentagon plan to keep about 200 troops in eastern Syria to combat the IS and block the advance of the Syrian and Russian forces into the region's oil fields.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Monday confirmed to the press in Kabul, Afghanistan that there are discussions about keeping some troops in northeastern Syria near oil fields with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Esper, however, noted that no decision had been made and the plan had not been presented to Trump yet.

If Trump approves the plan, it will mark the latest reversal of Trump administration's Syria pullout policy. The White House in December ordered 2,000 U.S. troops to leave Syria immediately, but later it compromised with the military to keep around 1,000 troops in Syria.

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