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Trump’s ‘withdrawal’ pressures allies, highlights contradictions

United States President Donald Trump’s opposition to deeper involvement in Syria was reflected in his precipitous announcement in December that all 2,000 US troops would pull out of the theatre altogether – which triggered defence secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation. Trump later suggested that 200 troops might remain in a multinational force in Kurdish-controlled north-eastern Syria and another 200 at Al-Tanf military base in Homs governorate, 24km west of the border crossing with Iraq and also near the border with Jordan, to prevent the re-emergence of Islamic State (IS or Daesh).

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