Key troops will be staying in Syria, focusing on fighting Iranian influence in tandem with Israel. The Washington Examiner reports:
Some U.S. troops may remain in Syria at a remote U.S. base to help oppose Iranian activity, according to a new report.
Although President Trump said last month that the Islamic State had been defeated and called for the withdrawal of troops in Syria, officials claim that the government’s current draw-down proposal would keep at least some U.S. troops at the remote base known as the al-Tanf garrison, Foreign Policy reports.
While most of the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria are stationed in northeast Syria, the troops at al-Tanf are further east and would be the last to depart Syria under the most recent plan. The base is important because it helps counter Iran’s goal for a “Shiite Crescent,” where a stretch of land could run from Iran to Lebanon and could give Iran the ability to target Israel.
“Al-Tanf is a critical element in the effort to prevent Iran from establishing a ground line of communications from Iran through Iraq through Syria to southern Lebanon in support of Lebanese Hezbollah,” a former senior U.S. military commander told Foreign Policy.
Although the mission against ISIS is essentially over, the Iranian threat is as strong as ever.