WASHINGTON—The U.S. will keep a small peacekeeping drive of about 200 troops in Syria regardless of President Trump’s earlier choice to take away all American troops, the White Home stated Thursday, illustrating the problems of a rapidly introduced withdrawal.
The announcement of the partial reversal got here after the White Home launched a short abstract of a dialog between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier Thursday. The White Home stated the 2 “agreed to proceed coordinating on the creation of a possible secure zone” to make sure that Turkey doesn’t assault Kurdish-led forces, who’ve helped within the battle in opposition to Islamic State.
Hours later, the White Home press secretary stated a peacekeeping drive of about 200 U.S. troops would stay in Syria “for a time period.” She didn’t present particulars, and the Pentagon on Thursday evening stated it had acquired no new path.
The transfer indicators a small victory for members of the Trump administration and lawmakers who’ve pressed the president to maintain some U.S. forces in Syria to make sure that Islamic State doesn’t regroup and counter Iran.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who had sharply criticized Mr. Trump’s preliminary choice to withdraw from Syria, welcomed the choice to maintain 200 troops in place.
“With this choice, President Trump has determined to comply with sound army recommendation,” he stated in a press release. “This choice will guarantee that we’ll not repeat the errors of Iraq, in Syria.”
The Trump administration is struggling to give you an exit technique that competing gamers can all agree upon. France and the U.Okay. have each advised the U.S. that they received’t depart their forces in Syria, if America pulls all its troops.
Turkey has been urgent for a buffer zone in northeastern Syria that might push again Kurdish forces that Ankara views as terrorists. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have appealed to the U.S. to maintain its troops in northeastern Syria to make sure that their forces aren’t focused by Turkey and deter Islamic State from regrouping.
Mr. Trump’s choice to maintain some U.S. forces in Syria may pave the way in which for France and the U.Okay. to comply with go well with.
The U.S. army has been working to get all its forces out of Syria by the tip of April, a swift timeline that has rankled U.S. army officers, lawmakers in each events, and Washington’s allies within the battle in opposition to Islamic State.
The U.S.-backed forces in Syria are poised to grab the final remaining stretch of Syria territory held by Islamic State.
Mr. Trump made the preliminary choice to tug all troops out of Syria after speaking with Mr. Erdogan in December. The choice prompted the resignation of Protection Secretary Jim Mattis and Brett McGurk, the Trump administration’s prime State Division official main the marketing campaign in opposition to Islamic State.
Since then, prime Trump administration officers, together with nationwide safety adviser John Bolton, have pressed the president to maintain some U.S. forces in Syria to counter each Islamic State and Iran, which supplies Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with very important army assist.
On Friday, Turkish officers are to fulfill in Washington with performing Protection Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Gen. Joe Dunford, Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, to debate the withdrawal.
The battle in Syria in opposition to Islamic State seems to be nearing an finish, with Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces urgent the militant group’s remaining sliver of territory in Baghouz. On Wednesday, a number of hundred of the final civilians trapped by Islamic State left, suggesting the extremist group was close to a give up.
—Nancy A. Youssef contributed to this text.