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Pentagon: About 2000 U.S. troops in Syria

07 December 2017

There are about 2,000 US troops deployed in Syria, the Pentagon said Wednesday - a number that is four times more than any official figure that USA officials have previously acknowledged, and yet still lower than at the height of operations in Syria.

The United States now has approximately 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria, where they have been helping train and advise partner forces in the fight against ISIL.

The US defense Department said that soon will provide information about the exact number of American troops stationed overseas, reports Voice of America.

The US military said it would also continue to support its local allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces, as they move to stabilize eastern Syria following a series of military victories over ISIS.

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"Current estimates are that there are less than 3,000 #Daesh fighters left - they still remain a threat, but we will continue to support our partner forces to defeat them", U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon tweeted, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.

The new numbers exclude sensitive missions and certain types of personnel, such as security personnel attached to the USA embassy in Iraq, according to Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon.

The revision changes long-held procedures to account for troops at the Pentagon.

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

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A Pentagon official said on Tuesday the USA military plans on staying in Syria as long as necessary to ensure the Islamic State group does not return.

"To ensure an enduring defeat of ISIL, the coalition must ensure it can not regenerate, reclaim lost ground, or plot external attacks", he said.

Though the RISF and SDF are still in place, US Defense Secretary James Mattis during a trip to the Middle East last week indicated that the Pentagon would draw down support for Kurdish-backed units that led the fight against IS. Speaking in California this weekend, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said that as much as 80% of pro-Assad forces in Syria are proxy forces controlled by Iran.

The open-ended US commitment in Syria will likely rile Russian Federation, which since late 2015 has conducted a separate military campaign to prop up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

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Moscow doesn't "appear to have a plan on how to bring a meaningful conclusion to the civil war that addresses the fundamental problems that led to the rise of ISIS, nor do they appear to be serious about the withdrawal of Iranian-backed militias", Pahon said. That number also is trending downward, he said, as the USA -led coalition in both Iraq and Syria transition from supporting offensive combat operations against Islamic State fighters to supporting local security efforts to prevent a reemergence of IS.