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Trump Alters Syria Troop-Withdrawal Plan

About 400 troops are staying behind
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2019 3:08 PM CST
In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, American troops look out toward the border with Turkey from a small outpost near the town of Manbij, northern Syria.   (AP Photo/Susannah George, File)
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(Newser) – Under pressure from the Senate, President Trump is leaving behind about 10% of America's 2,000-troop fighting force in Syria—and will leave them there indefinitely, the Military Times reports. "A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time," says Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The 200 troops are assigned with helping to maintain a safe area in northeastern Syria and will stay along with 200 others being kept at a US base in at-Tanf, Syria, per CNN.

"I'm not reversing course," said Trump Friday when asked about his original plan to pull out of Syria entirely. "... It's a very small, tiny fraction of the people we have and a lot of people like that idea and I'm open to ideas." The Islamic State's so-called caliphate of territory in Syria and Iraq has dwindled but the group still has thousands of members and is said to be adding about 50 people per month, per Roll Call. (Read more US military stories.)

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