USA troops to remain in Syria

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Mr Tillerson said the experience of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, which was followed by the rise of ISIS and the USA military's return to the region, necessitated an open-ended United States presence in Syria to prevent a revival of ISIS.

Tillerson's comments came as Turkey threatened action on the Syrian border against the SDF after the the US -led coalition said Sunday it was working with the Kurdish-led group to set up a 30,000-strong force that would operate along the borders with Turkey and Iraq, as well as within Syria. "But that change will come".

They are closely tied to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is waging war against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member and U.S. ally Turkey.

"The United States will maintain a military presence in Syria, focused on ensuring that ISIS can not reemerge", he said.

"The U.S. continues to train local security forces in Syria". Washington has 2,000 USA ground forces in the country.

He said the USA, the European Union and regional partners will not provide reconstruction assistance to any area under control of the Assad regime, but once Assad is gone, the U.S. will gladly encourage the normalization of economic ties between Syria and other nations. "Instead, we will encourage worldwide assistance to rebuild areas the global coalition and its local partners have liberated from Islamic State", he said. "Continued U.S. presence to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS will also help pave the way for legitimate local civil authorities to exercise responsible governance of their own liberated areas".

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Instead, he argued that the USA role will be to provide stability to allow a UN-led peace process to resume and find a Syrian-led alternative to Assad's rule while weaning the Syrian government off its reliance on Iranian advisers and aid. United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura announced Wednesday that the U.N. would host the Syrian government and opposition for peace talks in Vienna on January 25 and 26.

The source added that the United States presence and all what the U.S. administration has done are "aimed at protecting the Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) terrorist organization" which has been created by the USA administration, Syria's official news agency, SANA, reported.

Also in 2017 under the Trump presidency the number of civilians killed in bombings by the USA -led coalition in Syria and Iraq more than doubled compared to the previous year, with more than 8,050 deaths recorded in Syria and more than 3,700 in Iraq.

But Tillerson also declared in his speech that "reducing and expelling malicious Iranian influence from Syria" is a top priority. The US now has about 2,000 troops in Syria, far too few to provide a counterweight to the thousands of Iranians who've been rallied to support Assad. Ties between the two countries have been strained over USA support for the Syrian Democratic forces, the mainly Kurdish-led militias fighting Islamic State in northern Syria with the help of US forces.

The new army will be formed from the Kurdish forces which control the northern Syrian areas, a move considered by experts and governments as a US plan to fragment Syria.

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