The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said Monday, October 21, 2019 that a "small number" of US troops remain in Syria, while the majority left the northeast of the country as planned.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Trump said the "small number" of US troops remaining in Syria is in "a totally different part" of the country, near the border with Jordan and Israel.
He said another group still deployed in Syrian territory "secured oil", alluding to the oil fields that the United States hopes to prevent from fall ing into the hands of jihadist fighters.RELATED
Beyond that, US troops are "coming out very well" of Syria, the president said.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said earlier in Kabul that the withdrawal from the United States would take "weeks, not days."
“We have troops in cities in northeastern Syria that are next to the oil fields. The troops in those cities are not in the current phase of withdrawal, ”he explained.
The United States announced the withdrawal of 1,000 US troops deployed in northeastern Syria on October 13, 2019, the fifth day of Turkey's offensive against the Kurdish militia of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) , allies of Washington that Ankara considers nevertheless a terrorist group.
On October 7, Trump announced the withdrawal of US soldiers from the Turkish border in northern Syria, paving the way for Turkey's attack on Kurdish forces. The offensive was halted Thursday by a ceasefire negotiated by Washington.
"If Turkey misbehaves … we will apply demon tariffs to its products," Trump said.