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US denies keeping 1,000 troops in Syria

Published: March 19, 2019
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The United States on Sunday denied a Wall Street Journal report which claimed it intends to leave about 1,000 troops in Syria.

The paper had reported that “as protracted administration talks with Turkey, European allies and US-backed Kurdish fighters have so far failed to secure an agreement to create a safe zone in northeastern Syria”, the United States now intends to continue to work with Kurdish militants in the country.

The paper quoted US officials as saying that the plan could include keeping up to 1,000 US troops throughout the war-torn country.

However, US Joint Chiefs Chairman, General Joseph F. Dunford, described the paper’s report as “factually incorrect” stressing that there has been no change to the planned 400 troops the White House announced last month.

US President Donald Trump announced in December the withdrawal of 2,000 military troops from Syria.

The decision came during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which the two leaders agreed on the need for more effective coordination over the civil war-torn country.

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The US military is now making plans to keep almost 1,000 troops in Syria, officials said, a shift that comes three months after President Donald Trump ordered a complete withdrawal, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing unidentified US officials.

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