US Says 2000 Troops Are in Syria, a Fourfold Increase

07 Декабря, 2017, 07:06 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • DOD acknowledges additional US troops in Syria

As recently as last month the Pentagon said there were about 500 US troops in Syria.

Manning said Wednesday that it took weeks for the Pentagon to release the new official number because military officials wanted to make sure that it was right.

It's merely a long-delayed confirmation that the troop numbers the Pentagon had been citing were inaccurate.

The Pentagon says there are about 2,000 US troops in Syria.

Iraqi forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces have liberated about 97 percent of the people and land that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria once claimed as the new caliphate, he said.

Figures released by Defense Manpower Data Center in November, which tracks counts of Pentagon military and civilian personnel deployed overseas each quarter, showed almost 2,000 United States troops in Syria and more than 9,000 in Iraq.

Manning also said there are about 5,200 US troops in Iraq. Some 3,000 IS fighters remain distributed between Iraq and Syria, according to coalition estimates.

In Syria, under Obama administration accounting practices known as Force Management Levels, the Pentagon only acknowledged 503 troops in Syria, though officials privately admitted there were significantly more forces there. Manning said this new phase presents an opportunity to refine how the department reports troop counts to the public.

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But U.S. military operations in Syria are expected to continue.

Last week, the US-led coalition announced it would withdraw 400 American Marines from combat who led a monthslong artillery barrage against IS in Raqqa.

Repeating previous statements from defense officials, Manning said that the U.S.is taking a "conditions-based" approach to the conflict against ISIS in Syria and is working with local partner forces to restore basic utilities and stand up local governments and police forces.

"Operating under recognized worldwide authorities, the US military will continue to support local partner forces in Syria to stabilize liberated territory", Pahon said.

As troops enter a stabilization phase, USA officials said there will not be clear front lines as American troops support efforts to remove mines and other explosives, return displaced people to their homes and support the growth of indigenous institutions in former IS-held territory that hasn't been seized by President Bashar al-Assad - who has long called the USA presence illegitimate - or Russian and Iranian forces backing the embattled Syrian leader. With the liberation, fewer USA forces are needed to support Iraqi and Syrian forces kinetically. "Their collective actions call into question their commitment to dealing a lasting defeat to [IS] and other extremist groups".

He said Russian Federation has done little to fight ISIS.

Moscow doesn't "appear to have a plan on how to bring a meaningful conclusion to the civil war that addresses the fundamental problems that led to the rise of ISIS, nor do they appear to be serious about the withdrawal of Iranian-backed militias", Pahon said.

Iraqi, Syrian and coalition forces will continue to capitalize on the momentum generated "and apply continuous pressure on the terrorist networks wherever they operate", Manning said. He said the US -led coalition would continue to apply "continuous pressure on the terrorist networks wherever they operate".

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