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US to Keep 500 or So Troops in Syria: General

Defeating ISIS is still the goal, Milley says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2019 11:50 AM CST
Gen. Mark Milley discussed the US deployment in Syria on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – At least 500 US troops are staying in Syria to fight ISIS after the withdrawal ordered by President Trump, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs said Sunday. "The objective will remain the same: the enduring defeat of ISIS," Gen. Mark Milley said on ABC's This Week, the Hill reports. There were 1,000 troops in Syria when Trump issued his order. After political pushback, Trump said a smaller number of troops would remain. It's not clear whether Milly's figure includes the 200 or so troops stationed at the al-Tanf garrison in southern Syria, per the AP. But the deployment will be 500 to 600—less than 1,000 "for sure," Milley said.

After his order, Trump added securing oil fields in eastern Syria to the mission. But ISIS is the concern, the general said. "There are still ISIS fighters in the region," Milley said, "and unless pressure is maintained, unless attention is maintained on that group, then there's a very real possibility that conditions can be set for reemergence of ISIS." (Read more Syria stories.)

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