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Trump: 400 US Troops to Remain in Syria With 200 Stationed 'Closer to Israel'

© REUTERS / Rodi Said / People gesture at a US military vehicle in Amuda province, northern Syria
People gesture at a US military vehicle in Amuda province, northern Syria - Sputnik International
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have since February been slowly breaking through the defensive positions of Daesh in Baghuz, a small city on the Euphrates River near Syria's border with Iraq, considered by Washington and its allies to be the last stronghold of the terrorists in Syria.

US President Donald Trump, speaking about the success of the SDF operation to clear out the last stronghold of Daesh* militants in Syria, claimed that there was one last "small pocket" of militants, which would be cleared "tonight."

"In Syria we're leaving 200 people there and 200 people in another place in Syria closer to Israel for a period of time," Trump said.

To prove his point, the American president has presented two maps showing territories in the Middle East where the terrorists were present: one as of 2017 and one as of today.

"This is a map of everything in red, this was on election night in 2016. Everything red is ISIS [Daesh]. When I took it over it was a mess," Trump said demonstrating the map of the Islamic State-held territory. "Now, on the bottom, that's the exact same [map], there is no red. The fact is actually a tiny spot, which will be gone by tonight."

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Since February, the US-backed Kurdish SDF has been attacking the terrorists in the Syrian city of Baghuz, after all the civilians had left the besieged area. The US-led coalition has been carrying out air support for the operation with strikes, which have reportedly resulted in civilian casualties.

The coalition, in turn, denied these reports, saying that they had seen "no evidence" for them.

*Daesh (also known as Islamic State, IS, ISIS, ISIL) — a terrorist group banned in numerous countries, including Russia

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