Earlier this month, the US announced that it would keep its military presence in Syria despite achieving its stated goal of defeating Daesh*.
US Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie stated Saturday that some 500 US personnel still remained in eastern Syria in order to take part in the upcoming anti-Daesh operation in the region.
US President Donald Trump announced early in October his intention to bring the US troops stationed in Syria “back home,” though weeks later the US announced they it would keep a small number of troops in the area to “protect the oil fields.”
The decision was made amid another noteworthy occasion – the death of former Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who blew himself up along with two children on 26 October when he was cornered by the US military in his hideout in northern Syria.
The group confirmed the death of al-Baghdadi, naming Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi their new leader.