US national security adviser John Bolton reportedly plans during his trip to Israel to discuss maintaining US presence in Syria to counter the Iranian threat. NBC news reported, citing a senior US official, that some US troops could stay behind at the key At Tanf base in southern Syria after American forces leave the country. Around 200 personnel are currently at the base, which sits on an important road from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus, according to the NBC news channel. On December 5, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, said that Russia had suggested to the United States to eliminate the military base in At Tanf and to establish joint Russian-US control over the zone instead. According to Gerasimov, Washington has not provided an answer. The general also stressed that the United States justified the reasonability of its presence in At Tanf by the necessity to counter Iran, allegedly transporting weapons and military equipment to Syria.

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