US pullback from parts of northeast Syria complete: Mark Esper - It's Over 9000!

US pullback from parts of northeast Syria complete: Mark Esper


The U.S. has completed a drawdown of troops from northeast Syria and the ones who remain in the semi-autonomous region have pulled back from contested areas to guard other positions, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.

The defense secretary told Reuters in an interview published Thursday, December 5 that the number of U.S. troops in northeast Syria region will indefinitely fluctuate at around 600, adding that he can “dial up” the number “if we see things happen.”

Esper also said Coalition allies are “talking again” and that other governments may yet send limited numbers of troops to the area.

There were previously about 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria’s northeast in October when President Donald Trump ordered forces to get out of the way of Turkey’s impending operation against a Kurdish militia that had partnered with the U.S. and its Western allies against Islamic State.

Esper initially announced a full withdrawal of all U.S. forces from northeast Syria, but the administration later reversed that decision when Trump said some U.S. forces would remain in the area to guard strategic oilfields, a move that has left Kurdish officials worried about a possible expansion of Turkey’s incursion.

The Trump administration has tried but largely failed to gain commitments from Coalition allies to send special forces to fill the gap of withdrawing U.S. soldiers since Trump first announced a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from northeast Syria in December.


Source: The Defense Post. 

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