Global News

US Says 2000 Troops Are in Syria, a Fourfold Increase

US Says 2000 Troops Are in Syria, a Fourfold Increase

The U.S. military plans to stay in Syria as long as necessary to ensure the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) does not return, a Pentagon official told AFP on December 5.

The us military has promised to provide more information about the number of troops deployed outside the United States. Manning declined to say how many American troops were in Syria or Iraq at the height of urban combat operations - those in Raqqa or Mosul, for example - that required larger footprints of USA combat advisers.

"The secretary has been clear about improving our public reporting while increasing commanders' ability to adapt to changing battlefield conditions to counter emerging threats", the colonel said.

The Obama-era policy - continued under President Trump until recently - aimed to draw down United States troops in Afghanistan and create a limited presence to defeat IS in Iraq and Syria.

He reiterated US support for the United Nations -led talks in Geneva peace talks.

By September, the US-backed coalition trained 8,500 SDF troops in Syria and provided vehicles and equipment to 40,000 troops in the Arab and Kurdish units.

Air pollution, smog may permanently damage children's brain, warns UNICEF report
With 136 million children under the age of one globally, that equates to about one in eight worldwide. Air pollution has known links to asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

Coalition forces are still needed in the two countries, but they will focus now on the train, advise and assist mission.

"That's where we are now", Manning said.

"We will be in Syria as long as it takes to make sure ISIS does not have the ability to reestablish safe havens... and plan and conduct attacks", said Manning, including that the 78-member USA -led anti-ISIS coalition is committed to the effort.

"To ensure an enduring defeat of ISIS, the coalition must ensure it can not regenerate, reclaim lost ground or plot external attacks", he said. This includes restoring essential services, removing improvised explosive devices and booby traps and ensuring distribution of humanitarian aid. "That's local forces. That's people who make certain that ISIS doesn't come back", Mattis said, highlighting the U.S. desire to shift its focus to local forces providing stability. Allowing this to happen should set the conditions for refugees to return to their homes.

"The United States also continues to support the Geneva-based political process ... which is the only path to a legitimate political resolution to the conflict", Manning said. The Russians and Assad regime are not going after the Nusra Front or al-Qaida.

As troops enter a stabilization phase, USA officials said there will not be clear front lines as American troops support efforts to remove mines and other explosives, return displaced people to their homes and support the growth of indigenous institutions in former IS-held territory that hasn't been seized by President Bashar al-Assad - who has long called the USA presence illegitimate - or Russian and Iranian forces backing the embattled Syrian leader. "Nor do they appear to be serious about the withdrawal of Iranian-backed militias", said Manning.


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