Washington Plans to Maintain Its Presence in al-Tanf Base to Protect Terrorists in Syria: Military Expert

TEHRAN- A Lebanese military expert played down US President Donald Trump's statements about a pullout from Syria, saying that the US Army will keep some of its troops in its al-Tanf base along Syria's Eastern borders in a bid to protect the terrorists in that region.

Brigadier-General Amin Hatit told the Arabic-language service of Russian Sputnik news agency that one of the main reasons for reinstating some of the US troops in al-Tanf military base is to help the US-backed militants in the region, according to Fars News Agency.

He noted that the US has realized that in case of retreating from al-Tanf region, the terrorists stationed in the region will face the Syrian Army's military operations, and said that the US is planning long-term presence in al-Tanf region to maintain security of terrorists.

Brigadier-General Hatit, meantime, pointed to the location of al-Tanf region in a triangle of Syria, Jordan and Iraq and deployment of the terrorists by the US in the region, and said Washington should account for helping the Syrian terrorists in the vicinity of Iraq and Jordan.

The Lebanese military expert, meantime, pointed to the doubts pertaining to the exit of US troops from Syria, and said that the US troops stationed in al-Sedqeh garrison in the Euphrates will probably remain there and other forces of the airbase near Hasaka will also remain for long-term in that region.

The remarks by Brigadier-General Hatit came as a senior US official has recently said part of the US troops would remain in Syria, specially al-Tanf base in the Southeast.

In a relevant development on Monday, media outlets said that the US has not yet withdrawn troops or equipment from Northern Syria, adding that Washington has even dispatched more military convoys to the region.

Iraqi Popular Commander: US Syria Pullout "Old Trick" to Run Regional Crises

Meantime, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of the forces commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Shaabi, warned that the US claims about a pending pullout from Syria an old game by Washington to run crises in the region.

"The US claim of pullout from Syria to Iraq is an old trick," al-Muhandis said on Monday.

He underlined Washington's support for the terrorist groups in the region, and said, "The US security and military bodies are after running the crises in the region."

Al-Muhandis warned of the US plots against the region, and said, "As Kurdish forces have witnessed, the Americans can never be trusted in the region."

US President Donald Trump announced late last month of his decision to withdraw forces from Syria immediately.

But, later other US officials modified the position by saying that the pullout would be done under specific conditions.