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White House says anti-IS fight in Syria ‘coming to rapid end’

The White House signaled that its mission in Syria will be focused on the narrow task of finishing off the Islamic State and will leave it to others to fund and conduct post-IS stabilization.
U.S forces on their military vehicle drive in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RC16478B0600
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WASHINGTON — A day after President Donald Trump said he wanted to bring US troops home from Syria, the White House announced that the US-led coalition will complete its mission to eradicate the so-called Islamic State in Syria and then leave it largely to allies and partners to fund and conduct stabilization efforts to ensure that the militant group does not return.

The announcement reflected a decision by Trump to narrow the US military goal in Syria largely to a counterterrorism mission, after his administration had earlier said it would keep an extended US troop presence in Syria to also counter the Iranian presence there and give leverage to stalled talks on a Syria political settlement. The United States has approximately 2,000 US troops in Syria, largely to battle the Islamic State, often abbreviated IS but also as ISIS.

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