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US Central Command Says Anti-ISIS Operations to Pick Up

US Central Command Says Anti-ISIS Operations to Pick Up

Saturday, 23 November, 2019 - 12:00
US Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie speaks with US troops in Afghanistan. Reuters file photo

US Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie said on Saturday there are 500 US personnel in east Syria, adding he expected anti-ISIS operations to pick up in coming days and weeks.


McKenzie was speaking on the sidelines of the Manama Dialogue Conference in Bahrain.


The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, said earlier this month that about 500 or 600 US troops will remain in Syria to counter ISIS militants.


President Donald Trump has approved an expanded military mission to secure oil fields across eastern Syria. His decision locked hundreds of US troops into a more complicated presence in Syria despite his pledge to bring them home.


"Now I've got about 500 US personnel generally east of the Euphrates river east of Deir Ezzor up to Hasaka, northeast all the way up into extreme northeast Syria," McKenzie told reporters on Saturday.


"It is our intention to remain in that position working with our SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) partners to continue operations against ISIS down the Euphrates river valley where those targets present themselves," he said.


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