On April 4, a senior US official revealed to Reuters news agency that US President Donald Trump had agreed, during a National Security Council meeting, to keep US troops in Syria a “little longer”. However, the official stressed that Trump did had not approved a specific withdrawal timetable yet.
“We’re not going to immediately withdraw but neither is the president willing to back a long-term commitment,” Reuters quoted the senior US official as saying.
Earlier, Director of US National Intelligence Dan Coats confirmed that a decision had been made on the future of US troops in Syria and said that the decision will be announced soon.
Commenting on these reports, the White House Office of the Press Secretary said in a press release that “the military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end.”
“We will continue to consult with our allies and friends regarding future plans,” the statement added.
The senior US official had told Reuters that Trump wants other countries in the region and the United Nations to join the US efforts in Syria. This confirms that the US wants its allies to join its troops on the ground in eastern Syria or at least to finance the the US presence there.
“Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision, and I said, ‘Well, you know, you want us to stay, maybe you’re going to have to pay,” Trump said on April 3.
Syrian experts believe that the future of the US troops in Syria is still not clear. Currently, the US is searching new sources to fund its deployment there and to ease the impacts of the deployment on its allies, mainly Turkey, that wants a rapid US withdrawal from Syria.