November 10, 2019 | 6: 15pm
The US military will keep about 600 troops in Syria to maintain the “enduring defeat of ISIS,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Sunday.
The small “footprint” of troops will remain in the war-ravaged country after President Trump was persuaded against a complete withdrawal.
“There will be less than 1,000 for sure,” Gen. Mark Milley said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, referring to the number when Trump announced the withdrawal last month.
“Probably in the 500-ish frame. Maybe 600. But it’s in that area.
“We’re not going to go into specific numbers because we’re still going through the analysis right now,” he said.
“There are still ISIS fighters in the region and unless pressure is maintained … there’s a very real possibility that conditions could be set for a reemergence of ISIS,” he said.
“The footprint will be small, but the objective will remain the same — the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
Milley said that last month’s death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a US operation would “have a very significant disruptive effect on the organization as a whole.”
He said the US already has ” a considerable amount of information” on Baghdadi’s replacement, whom he did not name.
“We’ll pay close attention to him and where opportunities arise, we’ll go after him as well,” he vowed.