U.S. military completes pullback from northeast Syria, Esper says
The US has completed the military pullback in northeastern Syria, leaving only 600 troops in the rest of the country. Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated this could signal an end of the period of tension and uncertainty that was a consequence of US troops in Syria. US President Donald Trump initially ordered the withdrawal of troops from northeastern Syria in October. Esper stated that the US plans to leave roughly 600 troops in other regions of Syria, but he said this number could fluctuate depending on the actions of European allies.
Currently, the goal of having US troops stationed in Syria is to prevent a resurgence of the terrorist group the Islamic State and ensure that Syrian oil reserves do not fall under their control. Last month, US forces led a raid that ultimately ended in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.