On Thursday, the White House announced that the US would leave behind a group of 200 peacemakers or American troops for some time after the US carries out its planned pull-out. This announcement was made as President Donald Trump backed out from a total pull out.
In December, Trump ordered a pull out of the 2,000 American troops in Syria, stating that they had crushed Islamic State rebels there, even as U.S.-backed Syrian forces are carrying out a final assault against the group’s last stronghold.
However, Trump has been under intense pressure from multiple advisers to modify his policy to establish the safety and security of Kurdish forces, who backed the battle against Islamic State and who now might be intimidated by Turkey, and to serve as a bastion against Iran’s influence.
A White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders in a statement stated that a small peacekeeping group of around 200 would remain in Syria for a certain span of time. The decision was declared after Trump spoke on phone to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. A White House statement stated that the two leaders admitted, concerning Syria, to go on integrating on the creation of a possible safe zone.
A senior administration official said Trump’s decision had been in the works for some time. It was unclear how long the 200 troops would be expected to remain in the area or where exactly they would be deployed.
Leaving behind a small group of U.S. troops in Syria could make the way for European allies to entrust hundreds of troops to assist in establishing and monitoring a possible safe zone in northeast Syria.
The commander of U.S.-backed Syrian forces has requested 1,000 to 1,500 international troops to remain in the nation to aid in confronting Islamic State and expressed hope that United States especially would end plans for a complete withdrawal.
The judgment to keep peacekeepers could help Trump outdo criticism that he had ordered a sudden withdrawal from Syria that could lead to regaining strength of Islamic State.