US Considers Keeping Troops at al-Tanf, Syria to Counter Iran Amid Exit – Report

Earlier this month, an anonymous source told AFP news agency that the US has started withdrawing non-essential equipment from Syria, though American military personnel remain deployed in the Middle Eastern country. The troop pull-out was announced by President Trump in December 2018.

Despite President Trump’s previous pledge to withdraw US troops from Syria, Washington is considering keeping some troops in al-Tanf, a strategic base in southeastern Syria, to counter Iran’s regional clout, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

“Al-Tanf is a critical element in the effort to prevent Iran from establishing a ground line of communications from Iran through Iraq through Syria to southern Lebanon in support of Lebanese Hezbollah,” an unnamed senior US military source told the magazine.

‘Not Really The US’ Fight’: American Forces Need to Leave Syria — Journo

Iran has repeatedly been accused of having a military presence in Syria, as well as attempting to build a base there. However, Tehran has strongly refuted the claims, insisting that its military presence in the country is limited to sending military advisers at Damascus’ behest to help fight terrorists.

Foreign Policy also cited a US government official as saying that staying at al-Tanf could raise legal issues for the Trump administration.

First of all, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force stipulates the use of force against non-state militants, rather than nations like Iran,…

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