BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – The U.S. Armed Forces in Syria will remain at the oil fields currently under their control, despite rumors of their full withdrawal from the eastern Mediterranean nation.
“There are U.S. forces in some villages protecting oil fields and they are not in a state of withdrawal. The state of withdrawal only exists in border areas such as Kobane,” acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press conference with his Afghan counterpart in Kabul on Monday.
“The withdrawal process will take weeks, not days, and some of our forces will remain in villages adjacent to oil fields in northeastern Syria with the aim of preventing ISIS and others to take advantage of these resources,” he said. “In Syria, we have not yet decided to withdraw from Syria.”
“We have not made a decision on this,” Esper confirm. “We will inform the president when we make the decision and then we will inform you.”
On Sunday, a large U.S. military convoy withdrew from U.S. bases in the governorates of Al-Raqqa and Aleppo this week, passing through nearby Al-Hasakah to the Iraqi border crossing (Simalka), which is the only U.S. crossing into the Iraqi Kurdistan region from northeastern Syria.