American soldiers in Syria (Picture: US Department of Defense).

US To Keep 200 'Peacekeeping' Troops In Syria

US President Donald Trump previously announced all American troops in Syria would be withdrawn.

American soldiers in Syria (Picture: US Department of Defense).

American personnel in Syria last year (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Around 200 American troops are to remain in Syria on a peacekeeping mission after the rest of its forces are withdrawn. 

In December, President Donald Trump surprised allies and his own advisers when he ordered a rapid withdrawal of all 2,000 US soldiers in the country.

President Trump claimed the so-called Islamic State (IS) was "doomed", adding it was "time to come home and rebuild".

US Marines in Syria (Picture: US Department of Defense).
US Marines in Syria (Picture: US Department of Defense).

Following President Trump's announcement, then-Defense Secretary General James Mattis resigned stating "you [President Trump] have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours".

This was then followed by an announcement last month that the US-led military coalition had begun the process of withdrawing troops from Syria.

Confirming that some US troops will now remain in the country, a White House spokeswoman said: "A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time".

The decision was made after a phone call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayying Erdogan in which they agreed to "continue coordinating on the creation of a potential safe zone", the statement added.   

Earlier this week, a top US politician expressed his concerns over a "hasty withdrawal" of troops in Syria.

 Syrian are being evacuated from Zamlka in Syria's eastern Al-Ghouta province outside Damascus
Syria has been war-torn since 2011 (Picture: PA).

Democrat Senator Chris Coons warned a clear-cut victory in the conflict was "unlikely" and that the US can still "lose decisively"

One expert told Forces News that a fast US withdrawal, which President Trump originally wanted, could create "a security vacuum" in the country for IS. 

Syria has been a war-torn country since 2011 with many sides involved in the fighting.

Kurdish-led forces have been fighting IS, also known as Daesh, in their last stronghold in eastern Syria.

They launched the offensive to end the IS presence in Syria in September, a battle that left hundreds of fighters dead on both sides.