US set to deploy 1,000 more troops to Syria: Pentagon official

The United States is set to deploy about 1,000 additional US troops to northern Syria, according to a Pentagon official, following reports that the Trump administration is planning to send thousands of soldiers to the Arab country.

The official told AFP on Wednesday that President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis are yet to approve the provisional plans drawn up by the Pentagon.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “That’s one of the proposals that’s on the table for discussion.”

Washington has currently between 800 and 900 Special Operations troops in Syria, according to AFP.  However, their activities have been limited to what the Pentagon describes as training and assisting Kurdish forces in their battle against Daesh and other terrorist groups.

General Joseph L. Votel, the top US commander for the Middle East, said last month that more American troops might be needed in Syria to step up the war against the Daesh terrorist group in the country.

According to reports, the Pentagon might persuade President Trump to authorize sending thousands of combat troops to Syria.

“It’s possible that you may see conventional forces hit the ground in Syria for some period of time,” CNN reported last month, citing a US defense official.

The decision is ultimately up to Trump, who has ordered Mattis to put together a viable proposal to resolve the ongoing crisis in the Arab country, the official added.

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