US plans to maintain military presence in Northeast Syria — diplomat

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NEW YORK, April 15. /TASS/. The US plans to maintain its military presence in Northeast Syria, US Acting Assistant Secretary of State David M. Satterfield stated on Monday during a briefing in Brussels.

“The President has said that US forces will remain in Northeast Syria. That all US forces are not withdrawing. Jim Jeffrey, our Special Representative, who is in continuing discussions with the Syrian Democratic Forces, with Turkish authorities, very much hopes that an arrangement can be reached which respects and assures Turkey’s legitimate security interests along its border,” the diplomat noted.

He added that the US presence in Syria “preserves the possibility of a continuing and decisive stabilization effort and enduring campaign against the remnants of ISIS [the Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in Russia].” “Those objectives require a continued US presence, albeit at the diminished levels which the [US] President [Donald Trump] has spoken of,” Satterfield said.

According to the US media, the number of Western troops in Syria reaches from 800 to 1,500 people.

On December 19, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull out US troops from Syria. American officials informed at the time that the US aimed to pull out all troops from the territory of Syria within 60-100 days. However, Pentagon officials are reported to have convinced Trump to go back on his previous decision and partly maintain the US presence in the region.

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