Recently, social media users circulated a claim alleging that the U.S. is considering a withdrawal from Syria.
Misabr investigated the circulating claim and found it to be fake.
No Official Statements Back the U.S Withdrawal from Syria
Misbar's team conducted a search through the most recent reports released by the U.S. Department of Defense. The latest report that mentioned Syria was dated November 2022, and it discussed heightened actions in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.
Furthermore, reliable media sources have not covered the claim regarding a potential U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
Previous U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Northern Syria
In December 2019, President Donald Trump announced that U.S. troops participating in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) in northeastern Syria would be withdrawn in the near future.
Furthermore, the decision heightened the aspirations and concerns of both local and regional stakeholders who are competing to shape Syria's forthcoming trajectory. Western and Arab governments have not succeeded in attaining their intended goals within Syria.
Following criticism both domestically and internationally, the Trump administration shifted its stance and chose to retain U.S. troops in the area.
U.S. Troops' Near Withdrawal from Syria Is Unlikely
According to reports from October 2021, the United States is not planning to withdraw its approximately 900 troops from northeast Syria. This decision aligns with the intentions of the Biden administration, as officials stated.
The Biden administration states the effectiveness of its Syria strategy. A senior Pentagon official, who requested anonymity, expressed disagreement with the concept of an endless conflict, stating, "I take objection to the notion of a forever war. US forces are present on the ground focused on only one mission, and that is the enduring defeat of ISIS."
The Biden administration remains committed to retaining U.S. troops in Syria. The senior Pentagon official affirmed, "The US has no intent to withdraw in the near future." The official emphasized that while progress has been made in pushing ISIS out of its former territory, the presence of ISIS members in Iraq and Syria necessitates continued efforts. "We have more work to do," the official added.
Why Are the U.S. Troops in Syria?
In 2014–15, U.S. troops were deployed under the leadership of former President Barack Obama. They were sent to provide essential assistance to local Arab and Kurdish fighters combating ISIL.
These troops’ responsibilities include supporting the Kurdish YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a local counterterrorism partner of the U.S., in ensuring the defeat of the armed group ISIL (ISIS).