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02:29

Afghanistan: Def. Sec. Esper confirms some US troops to remain in north-east Syria

Afghanistan, Kabul
October 22, 2019 at 02:29 GMT +00:00 · Published

US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper confirmed that some US troops will remain in north-eastern Syria to defend oil fields in the region during a news conference on his first visit to Kabul on Monday.

"We have troops in towns in north-east Syria that are located next to the oil fields. The troops in those towns are not in the present phase of withdrawal," Esper said.

He added that the US troop withdrawal will take "weeks" during which time troops will remain to defend the oil fields alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces against IS [formerly ISIS/ISIL].

"Counterterrorism operations remain critical to our efforts to achieving peace and ensuring terrorist organisations cannot find safe haven in Afghanistan," the Defence Secretary added.

He went on to state that the US will continue to conduct an "aggressive" military campaign against the Taliban and other terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan.

02:29
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US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper confirmed that some US troops will remain in north-eastern Syria to defend oil fields in the region during a news conference on his first visit to Kabul on Monday.

"We have troops in towns in north-east Syria that are located next to the oil fields. The troops in those towns are not in the present phase of withdrawal," Esper said.

He added that the US troop withdrawal will take "weeks" during which time troops will remain to defend the oil fields alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces against IS [formerly ISIS/ISIL].

"Counterterrorism operations remain critical to our efforts to achieving peace and ensuring terrorist organisations cannot find safe haven in Afghanistan," the Defence Secretary added.

He went on to state that the US will continue to conduct an "aggressive" military campaign against the Taliban and other terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan.

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