USA: Doch kein Zeitplan für Abzug aus Syrien
The United States has no timeline for the withdrawal of American troops from Syria but does not plan to stay indefinitely, a senior State Department official said on Friday, sending a strong signal that U.S. forces could stay until the fight against Islamic State militants is over.
U.S.-backed forces are still retaking territory from Islamic State in Syria, Pentagon officials said on Friday, two weeks after Washington announced it would withdraw the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria. President Donald Trump said at the time that the troops had succeeded in their mission and were no longer needed there.
The administration’s abrupt announcement last month, which took officials in Washington and allies by surprise, contributed to Jim Mattis’ decision to resign as U.S. defense secretary and prompted concern that Islamic State could stage a comeback.
The State Department official, briefing reporters before a visit to the Middle East next week by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, apparently sought to allay this concern.
“We have no timeline for our military forces to withdraw from Syria,” said the official, who asked not to be identified.