The US military will keep 200 troops in Syria to serve as a peacekeeping force after it pulls out most of its soldiers, the White House says. President Donald Trump has come under fierce criticism for his decision last December to withdraw 2,000 troops.
He said the Islamic State group had been “defeated”, but critics warn the group has not disappeared entirely. The latest announcement comes as the battle to turf IS out of the last pocket it holds in Syria continues.
US-backed fighters belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance are making fresh attempts to evacuate civilians from Baghuz, a village in eastern Syria on the Iraqi border. An estimated 300 IS fighters are thought to be holed up inside a tiny pocket of land.