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US could deploy 150 troops to Syria: report

US could deploy 150 troops to Syria: report
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The U.S. is preparing to deploy about 150 troops to Syria, The New York Times reported Thursday. 

The troops will conduct ground patrols with Turkish forces and the deployment is part of a series of steps taken by the U.S to reduce tensions with Turkey, according to the Times. 

A defense official told CNN that the military was considering sending a small number of troops to Syria to help create a buffer zone at the Syria-Turkey border, but no decisions had been made. The official told the news network that if additional forces go to Syria, they will likely be redeployed to another place in the region. 

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"While we are working to implement the president's direction to withdraw troops from Syria in a deliberate and coordinated manner, force levels will be dictated by conditions on the ground," Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson told CNN. "For security reasons, we are not going to discuss numbers or timelines." 

The U.S. currently has fewer than 1,000 troops in Syria who are working to combat what is left of ISIS, according to the Times. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE announced in December that he would remove all of the U.S. troops from Syria, resulting in the resignation of then-Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage Senate confirms Austin to lead Pentagon under Biden Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE. He later said he would allow a small number them to remain for stability reasons.

The Times reported that tensions have escalated between the U.S. and Turkey due to U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish fighters. The fighters have helped to combat ISIS, but Turkey has designated them as terrorists. 

The Hill has reached out to the Pentagon for comment.