BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:45 A.M.) – The Wall Street Journal claimed on Sunday that the U.S. military had decided to keep nearly 1,000 soldiers inside Syria, which is more than double than the previous number reported by the U.S. administration last month.
However, shortly after the WSJ report went live, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said in a statement that these claims were in fact false.
“A claim reported this evening by a major U.S. newspaper that the U.S. military is developing plans to keep nearly 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria is factually incorrect,” General Dunford said.
“There has been no change to the plan announced in February and we continue to implement the President’s direction to draw down U.S. forces to a residual presence.”
According to General Dunford, the U.S. will “conduct detailed military planning with the Turkish General Staff to address Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border.”
“Planning to date has been productive and we have an initial concept that will be refined in the coming days,” he said.
“We are also conducting planning with other members of the Coalition who have indicated an intent to support the transition phase of operations into Syria,” General Dunford added.