Pentagon expected to acknowledge there are 2K USA troops in Syria

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 25, 2017

The US now has approximately 2,000 troops in Syria on an ongoing basis, mainly special operations forces, according to several defense officials.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, at the beginning of his tenure, promised to bring more transparency to the way troops were being counted.

The US Department of Defense has announced that it now has about 2,000 troops stationed in Syria, after long insisting that only around 500 soldiers were deployed in the country. Then a recently published manpower statistics report publicly available on the Pentagon website said there were 1,547 troops there.

President Trump in April gave Mattis the authority to increase USA troop levels in Iraq and Syria, but it is not clear whether he has used the authority yet to increase the number beyond what was already there.

However, there are still concerns about being too specific about where U.S. units are located, or how many troops are in particular locations because of the security risks and fears the information might provide clues about their weapons and military capabilities. The personnel belong mainly to special operations forces, CNN has reported, citing Pentagon officials. Russian and Syrian regime units are increasingly operating in eastern and southeastern Syria in areas where USA units may be located. The Pentagon is not expected to reveal the number of troops in Iraq, because of political sensitivities about USA forces in Iraq, Reuters reported.

When contacted by Sputnik and asked to confirm the report, a Pentagon official said, "We have nothing to add".

Iraqi engineers succeeded in "rehabilitating in record time the Siniya refinery, which was destroyed by Daesh gangs", the statement said, referring to Islamic State by an Arabic acronym.

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