Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report

President Trump is reportedly considering a plan that would leave a small force of roughly 200 U.S. troops in eastern Syria.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Trump is considering a plan floated by top generals that would leave a remainder force behind in Syria with a dual-purpose mission: to prevent the resurgence of ISIS following Turkey’s invasion in the region and to prevent Syrian government forces and their Russian allies from seizing control of oil production facilities in the region.

{mosads}A senior administration official told the Times that Trump favors the plan, which he has been considering for roughly a week, and feels that it would be sufficient to prevent the reversal of U.S. gains against ISIS and allow Kurdish forces in the region to maintain control of oil fields in the area.

The Department of Defense declined to comment Sunday to the Times on the senior official’s comments.

Trump faced sharp criticism from both Democrats and some of his closest Republican allies on Capitol Hill after his announcement last week that the U.S. would withdraw forces from northeastern Syria ahead of Turkish military actions against Kurdish forces in the region, which many lawmakers said amounted to a betrayal of a U.S. ally.

The president has defended his actions in the media and on Twitter by pointing to his campaign promise to pull the U.S. out of “endless wars” in the Middle East.

“After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria. Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land. I said to my Generals, why should we be fighting for Syria and Assad to protect the land of our enemy?” Trump tweeted last week.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

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