Even though President Donald Trump announced that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, the Pentagon is considering ways for U.S. forces to continue fighting in the war-torn nation, according to the Boston Globe, which cited military officials.
What might they do? There are still about 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. So, one option the Pentagon is considering is moving U.S. commandos over to Iraq, and from there they can go into Syria for specific raids.
The Pentagon is also considering options that don't require troops on the ground in Syria, such as continuing airstrikes or arming the Kurdish fighters with weapons and other equipment.
Why are they considering this? Withdrawing troops from Syria presents the potential that the Islamic State could regain strength in the region, leaving Kurdish forces to fend for themselves against the terrorist fighters. The Pentagon is looking at ways to keep ISIS down even while removing troops.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis reportedly resigned after Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria, but he will be a part of these discussions as he serves through February.
What does Trump think? President Donald Trump will be presented with these options sometime in coming weeks, the Globe reported. Trump expressed a desire to stop spending money and endangering U.S. lives in Syria, preferring instead to leave responsibility for fighting ISIS there to Russia and Iran.
What's the status of ISIS in Syria? Trump has claimed victory over ISIS, citing the fact that U.S.-led coalition forces have taken back territory ISIS had captured. Still, as many as 30,000 ISIS fighters still remain in Syria and Iraq, according to a Defense Department report.