(February 21, 2019 / JNS) The White House announced on Thursday that the United States will keep “a small peacekeeping group” of 200 troops in Syria after withdrawing from the country, reportedly scheduled for April. That number was later elevated in media reports as being as many as 400.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced in December the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops in Syria once the Islamic State was defeated.
“A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders in a brief statement.
However, Trump has been under pressure from allies and advisers to modify his policy in order to protect Kurdish forces from adversaries such as Turkey.
Moreover, the president has said that some U.S. troops will stay in the area to “watch” Iran and “protect Israel.”