Small Wars Journal

U.S. to Revise Military Strategy for Exiting Syria

Sat, 02/23/2019 - 12:11am

U.S. to Revise Military Strategy for Exiting Syria by Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy A. Youssef – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. military on Friday began to revamp its strategy in Syria, after President Trump decided to shift course and keep several hundred American troops in the country.


With U.S.-backed forces poised to seize the last remaining stretch of Islamic State territory in Syria, Mr. Trump now is asking the Pentagon to retain several hundred Americans in northeastern Syria to help Kurdish fighters and at a small base in the south of the country, where they serve as an informal bulwark against Iranian influence.


After Mr. Trump spoke by phone Thursday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the White House said the U.S. would keep about 200 American “peacekeepers” in Syria. By Friday, administration officials said the number would likely be higher than 200, and Pentagon officials referred to them as troops, not peacekeepers.


Mr. Trump said Friday his decision to abandon plans for a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria was a recognition of the need to ensure that Islamic State doesn’t regroup…

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