The US has no timeline to withdraw troops from Syria but does not plan to stay indefinitely, a senior State Department official confirmed on Friday January 4th, hinting that American troops could stay in the war-torn country until the fight against the terror group Isis ends, Reuters has reported.
The State Department official, briefing reporters a week ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the Middle East, appeared to be seeking to allay concerns over the fight against Isis slowing down after President Trump’s shock announcement on pulling out American troops from Syria.
“We have no timeline for our military forces to withdraw from Syria,” said the official, who asked not to be identified. US-backed forces are still retaking territory from Isis in Syria, Pentagon officials also confirmed.
“It will be done in such a way that we and our allies and partners maintain pressure on Isis throughout and we do not open up any vacuums for terrorists.”
The US did not intend to have an indefinite military presence in Syria, the official added.
Trump said on Wednesday the US would get out of Syria slowly “over a period of time” and would protect US-backed Kurdish fighters in the country as Washington draws down troops.