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Trump to keep some troops in Syria to control oil fields

President Donald Trump is expected to approve a new plan to keep a few hundred US troops in eastern Syria in order to help his Kurdish allies retain control of oil fields, the New York Times reports, Press T.V. reported.

The paper cited a senior administration official as saying Sunday that Trump is leaning towards a new Pentagon plan to keep a contingent of nearly 200 Special Operations forces at a few bases in eastern Syria, some near the Iraqi border.

The plan would help Kurdish militants keep control of oil fields in the east and prevent Syrian government forces from reinstating control over territories occupied by foreign troops and their proxies.

The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led group of militias backed by the US, has switched sides to join Syrian government forces after Trump announced the American withdrawal.

The new plan appears to be an attempt by the US to prise the Kurds away from the central government in Damascus and retain control over Syria's oil fields.  

Trump seemed to hint at this outcome in a tweet on Sunday, saying, “We have secured the Oil.”

Three other administration and Pentagon officials confirmed to the New York Times over the weekend that top American policymakers and commanders were discussing the option.

Trump would need to approve any plan to leave forces in any part of Syria in addition to the about 150 troops in al-Tanf garrison in south-central Syria near the Iraqi border.

If endorsed, it would mark the second time in less than a year that Trump has reversed his own order to withdraw nearly all American troops from Syria.

Raghda Sawas

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