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US Pentagon: 26,000 US Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria

US Pentagon: 26,000 US Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria

Wednesday, 29 November, 2017 - 11:15
US Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright of Lyons, Georgia, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, US on October 5, 2017. Courtesy Aaron J. Jenne/US Air Force/Handout via REUTERS

US Democratic and Republican legislators pressed the Department of Defense (DOD) to declare that actual number of total US troops outside the country.

The DOD issued a report where it stated that US has a total of 26,000 troops spread across Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, which is far higher than any number previously admitted.

The report admitted that there are now 8,892 US troops in Iraq, 15,298 in Afghanistan and 1,720 in Syria, based on information from the Defense Manpower Data Center.

The information was publicly released last week in November, as part of the DOD's quarterly count of active duty, reserve, guard and civilian personnel assigned by country by the Defense Manpower Data Center. However, the numbers are current as of September 30.

The report did not include number of special operations forces or temporary personnel rotating into or out of the country in the official figures, so, military experts and analysts believe the actual number could be even higher.

Congressmen questioned the actual numbers of US troops outside the country especially after four US soldiers were killed in the Niger last month.

Defense Department's acknowledged that there were seven troops stationed there, and, when asked about the number of troops serving in certain war zones, Pentagon's official response was that “force management levels” caps set under former President Barack Obama.

Around the end of Obama's presidency, DOD announced that the number of US troops in Iraq is 2,662, however, Defense Manpower Data Center announced in December 2016 that there are 6,812 troops in Iraq.

The new report, however, puts the series of troops as 1,720 in Syria as well as three civilians, and 8,892 in Iraq.

As for Afghanistan, there are 15,298 active avocation members of the military on the belligerent and another 1,202 Defense Department civilians, making it a total of 16500 US.

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