October 21, 2019 / 10:03 AM / 23 days ago

Pentagon chief says keeping some troops in north Syria under discussion

KABUL, Oct 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday that keeping some U.S. troops in parts of northeastern Syria near oilfields with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to ensure that the oil did not fall into the hand of Islamic State or others was one of the options that was being discussed.

Speaking with reports during a trip to Afghanistan, Esper said that, while the withdrawal from northeastern Syria was under way, some troops were still with partner forces near oilfields and there had been discussions about keeping some of them there.

Esper said he had not presented that option yet, but the Pentagon’s job was to look at different options. (Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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