Pentagon: military completes pullback from northeast Syria

Pentagon: military completes pullback from northeast Syria

The United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria, settling into a more stable posture of about 600 troops in the rest of the country after repositioning and reducing forces, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.

Esper told Reuters he retained the ability to move in and out smaller numbers of forces as needed into Syria. But he suggested the number of troops will fluctuate around the 600-level for the foreseeable future.

"It will be relatively static around that number. But if we see things happen ... I can dial up a little bit," the Pentagon chief noted.

Esper also didn’t rule out being able to reduce U.S. troop levels in Syria further if European allies contributed to the Syria mission. "If an allied country, a NATO country, decided to give us 50 people, I might be able to turn off 50 people," he added.

Since then, troop levels in Syria have fallen about 40% from around 1,000.

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