Agencies (Qasioun) – US special representative on Syria, James Jeffrey, said on Thursday that the United States will stay in Syria as long as rival Iran maintains its presence, but the US role will not necessarily involve troops.
Jeffrey was clarifying recent comments by senior officials who appeared to suggest that troops would stay indefinitely to counter Iran.
Asked if President Donald Trump was making US withdrawal contingent on the removal of Iranian forces, Jeffrey told reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations: “The president wants us in Syria until that and the other conditions are met.
But he added: “‘Us’ is not necessarily American boots on the ground.”
“There are many ways that we can be on the ground. We’re certainly on the ground diplomatically,” he said, while adding that no options were definite.
“Boots on the ground have the current mission of the enduring defeat of ISIS,” he said.
The United States has some 2,000 troops in Syria, mainly training and advising both Kurdish forces and Syrian Arabs opposed to President Bashar Assad.
Source: The Times Of Israel