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etvfutures.com December 18, 2017


Pentagon acknowledges higher number of United States troops in Syria

07 December 2017, 07:07 | Opal Carroll

Pentagon signals open-ended troop commitment in Syria

Pentagon: US committed to Syria until ISIS areas stabilized

About 2,000 American troops are operating in Syria, the Pentagon announced Wednesday, acknowledging four times the servicemembers in the embattled nation than it had disclosed.

Manning also said Wednesday that the United States has about 5,200 troops in Iraq, essentially the same force size as the Pentagon acknowledged under Obama. Moments later, a Pentagon spokesman, Eric Pahon, interjected in the same news conference that the number of USA troops actually was about 500, the number the Defense Department has long used for Syria.

There are about 2,000 US troops deployed in Syria, the Pentagon said Wednesday - a number that is four times more than any official figure that USA officials have previously acknowledged, and yet still lower than at the height of operations in Syria.

The Pentagon said the new public estimate still does not account for all US troops in Iraq and Syria.

The figure reflects an order by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to revise how the Pentagon accounted for deployed personnel carrying out major operations in Iraq and Syria.

Pahon said the USA troop commitment would be "conditions-based", meaning no timeline will determine any pull out. Some 3,000 IS fighters remain distributed between Iraq and Syria, according to coalition estimates.

Manning would not say whether the 400 Marines were part of the new 2,000-troop figure. Manning said this new phase presents an opportunity to refine how the department reports troop counts to the public.

Files being held for ransom by hackers
But Flowers Grube said the problems don't extend to processing emergency calls, which is handled by the city of Charlotte. The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners received an update on the outage during its meeting on Tuesday night.


"We hope that trend continues", he said.

"Important work remains to ensure lasting defeat" of ISIS, he said.

Officials said the amount of forces are declining in Syria and Iraq as operations shift away from combat and more toward train and advise, explosives cleanup, reconstruction, and maintaining security and preventing ISIS from returning.

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. He said the Syrian regime and Russian actions have "demonstrated that countering ISIS and other extremist groups like Nusra Front and al-Qaeda is not their foremost priority". "Nor do they appear to be serious about the withdrawal of Iranian-backed militias".

A solution to the Syrian civil war is the best way to ensure groups like ISIS do not take advantage of the chaos and confusion to impose their ideology, the colonel 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.



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