Mattis sees larger U.S. civilian presence in Syria

Mattis sees larger U.S. civilian presence in Syria

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday that he expected to see a larger U.S. civilian presence in Syria, including contractors and diplomats, as the fight against Islamic State militants nears its end and the focus turns toward rebuilding and ensuring the militants do not return, Reuters reported.

“What we will be doing is shifting from what I would call an offensive, shifting from an offensive terrain-seizing approach to a stabilizing... you’ll see more U.S. diplomats on the ground,” Mattis said.

He has previously stated that U.S. forces will stay in Syria as long as Islamic State fighters want to fight and prevent the return of an “ISIS 2.0.”

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